The press briefing addressed by Hon Mulira the senior presidential advisor on ICT at Victoria University Kampala said that such early initiatives like giving each new student a laptop will provide them with ability to study away from the university during this lockdown period caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic started in China several thousands of miles away. We did not know the kind of impact it was going to have on several sectors , we have seen what it has done to so many economies around the world”. Said Mulira
He added that the areas which has been greatly affected is education , students had to be asked to go home because they could not stay in an environment with great risks for Coronavurus.
However the Government through the National Council for Higher Education has come up with online/ distance learning guidelines for Higher learning education institutions on how to use technology as a medium of communication to impart knowledge to students while they are away from school.
” Uganda over 15million students who were asked to go home because they could not continue with their formal education in traditional means yet education has to continue. The solution was to adopt technology in the infusion of imparting knowledge through online/distance learning”. Said Mulira
He noted that COVID 19 has come with some positive effects on education saying that online learning had been tried long ago and failed but said the COVID rebooted the interest in need of online education.
”Great achievement at Victoria University students who register get laptops issued to him or her and they started this before COVID. This has been ongoing and provides their students with the ability to study away from the university” Mulira noted.
Meanwhile, It was the responsibility of universities to foresee and prepare self accordingly. For Victoria University our team had already done guidelines two months ago before these of NCHE came out. We did a survey to find out the challenges of students, our staff and ourselves came out with our own guidelines.
Assoc Prof Dr. Sharma says the university is ready to commence online teaching adding that all the issues raised in the guidelines by NCHE have already been in place at Victoria University.
“Victoria University mostly of the issues NCHE is asking we have been practicing them. We have been using them with our students and training our staff , students and training our staff with effective utilizing E_learning resources” Said Prof. Sharma
“The University is ready to roll , we started getting students applying from online, registering students online, paying online and we can also teach online and evaluate them online however this is the responsibility of the universities to take up and come up with innovative ways that best fits our staff, our localities and students” Said Prof. Sharma