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Universities partner on a new teaching mode

Makerere: College of Education and External Studies presenting the EPICA project. Makerere University PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | JOSEPH BAHINGWIRE | As African economies start growing and technological change being the engine of growth, it has become eminent that the conventional system of education that is class based cannot provide skills that can lead to business growth as well as economic development.

To sustain growth, Ugandans like most Africans need new skills, education and knowledge to match the challenges and technology of tomorrow. This has precipitated a partnership between European and African Universities for an alternative education model.

EPICA, a new strategic partnership between Europe and Africa, has been launched. It is bringing together businesses, organisations and universities in both Europe and Africa to design an innovative, scalable ePortfolio, which will improve the quality, visibility and availability of new skills. This joint effort is made possible by co-funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda the principal Investigator EPICA project at Makerere University said African students need the skills and capabilities employers will demand and markets will prize in the future.

“We have started the Eportfolio ecosystem (EPICA) to improve the quality and visibility of students’ skills,” Prof Muyinda told a stakeholders meeting at the University recently.

He said it is a new teaching that emphasizes what students can do with what they learn rather than what they have been taught in class. The Pilot programme started with 150 students and 100 organisations with an intention to involve more students and organisations in the near future.

The three year programme will educate lectures, students as well as employers on practical teaching other than the conventional theoretical teaching.

Pro. Muyinda added that the current system has been producing knowledgeable graduates but with no skills which has made them unable to secure jobs leading to unemployment and poor economic productivity.

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