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Education Minister urges tertiary institutions to embrace online courses

FILE PHOTO: Minister Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo has challenged heads of Tertiary institution to spearhead the use of ICT led innovations.

Muyingo says tertiary institutions all over the world are offering online courses for continuing education that allows people to work and study simultaneously.

He however, says whereas universities in the country have emulated ICT led innovations to create online courses for long distance learners, tertiary intuitions have lagged behind, which affects enrolment.

Statistics from Ministry of Education show that students’ enrolment in tertiary institutions stands only at 68, 800 [26.6 percent], compared to 162, 229 [62.7 percent] for both public and private universities.

“You are all aware that we are living in the information or digital age where the use of technology is becoming prevalent in everything in the socio-economic and political space. ICT is not merely a communication tool anymore but growing to become the foundation on which our day to day productivity depends,” Muyingo said.

The Minister made the remarks during the Education Ministry’s Joint Admission Board [JAB] 30th admission Exercise held at Makerere University in Kampala, Tuesday.

He noted that there are great opportunities of getting technology inspired, empowered graduates and increased enrollment through utilization of ICT led innovations and creation of online courses for tertiary intuitions,

Muyingo says it’s time for tertiary institution to become aggressive in selling online programs to learners to become competitive.  “If it means being aggressive to sell the idea, let’s sell it, if it means you have to start online programmes you have the support of my office,” he said.

He also cautioned Tertiary institution heads on altering names of students admitted on government sponsorship, arguing that his office has received complaints and would investigate them. A total of 2,000 students will be admitted on government sponsorship for the academic year 2019/2020.

Prof. Fabian Nabugomu, the Kyambogo University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge Finance and administration, said there is still need by the Education Ministry to adequately equip ICT facilities at tertiary institutions including updating its curriculum.

Nabugomu, who also doubles as the JAB chairperson, raised concerns on the need to mainstream ICTs in the curriculum of tertiary education.

Robert Odok Ochieng, the Director for Higher Technical and Vocational Education and Training – HTVET in the Education Ministry, said cases of retakes in tertiary institution have become alarming and blamed them on limited staffing.

He said there’s need by the education ministry to come out with a plan on the processes of teaching and learning that has seen many students end up with retakes yet they are admitted with good grades.



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