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Kabale University launches digital education with support from Swiss project

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Officials launching the project at Kabale University. PHOTO URN

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kabale University in the Southwestern Ugandan District of Kabale is one of the universities in Africa to benefit from a Swiss-funded project designed to enhance digital learning.

The project is under a partnership with Switzerland-based  Ecole Polythenique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL) and Morocco-based Universite Mohammed VI Polythenique.

The Centre of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE)  is worth  40,000 Swiss Francs or over 175 million shillings.  It was endorsed through a memorandum of understanding signed between the parties on May 18, 2021. Ecole Polythenique Federale De Lausanne has put up an  E-learning laboratory consisting of a multi-media studio, production equipment, and Information Technology (IT) equipment at Kabale University.

It has trained the University’s  Information Technology staff in online pedagogical engineering skills (Digital Instruction Design), Digital Studio production, Open edX (a free, open-source learning platform developed to deliver online courses tailored to the needs of learners and educators), and training professors at the university about online courses.

Speaking during the launch of the project, Andres Gomez, an E-learning Specialist expressed optimism that the project will achieve its goals if it does not meet any bottlenecks

Professor Joy Constance Kwesiga, Kabale University Vice Chancellor, and Dr. Nicholas Thaddeus Kamara, Kabale Municipality MP say that the project will help learners especially primary school teachers who are under pressure to upgrade University level.

Brian Masiga, the Executive Director of Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU- Mesh Technologies expresses fear that limited funding and the lack of pedagogical technical expertise may hamper the effectiveness of the project.

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About 44 universities in Africa had applied for the partnership, but only six secured it. They are Kabale University from Kabale , Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology based in Arusha Tanzania, Moi University from Kenya, University of Abuja in Nigeria, Ecole Superiure Multinationale des Telecommunications from Dakar Senegal and Universite Nangui Abrogoua from Abidjan Ivory Coast.

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