By Moses Agaba
Kabale University on Wednesday launched the Centre of Competence in Digital Education a center of competence for digital excellence-C –CODE to promote e learning laying the road for a more promising future of learning and innovation as well to overcome infrastructural challenges and congestion at the university.
Centre for Competence for Digital Excellence (C-CODE) project as part of the initiatives aimed at building the necessary infrastructure to produce quality educational content and pedagogical aspects of digital educating in the Kigezi sub region and Africa at large.
The initiative marks Kabale University as one of the six universities in Africa to forge a partnership with Switzerland-based Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne ( EPFL) and Morocco-based University Mohammed VI Polytechnique, with the shared objective of enhancing digital learning and educative across the continent. The project was formalized through a memorandum of understanding signed by the involved parties on May 18th 2021.
Despite 44 universities in Africa vying for this partnership, only six including Kabale University succeeded.
Under the ambit of the Centre of Competence in Digital Education project, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPEL) has set up an E-learning laboratory at Kabale university, complete with a multimedia studio and state of the art information Technology equipment.
Prof Joy Constance Kwesiga the Kabale University Vice Chancellor says that the program is to help students in rural areas to access higher education through E- learning programs that are currently supported with the establishment of the e library.
“The center has already benefited several primary teachers that enrolled for bachelor’s degrees. This program will save tie spent by the learners travelling from rural areas to the main campus.
She is optimistic that the project will lead to increase of university enrollment.
She says that it will also provide for a conducive environment for grants mothers bedsides securing their marriage since they will study while in their homes.
Associate Professor Phelix Businge Mbabazi THE Dean faculty of computing , library and information Science who is also the coordinator of C-CODE Says that they wrote the people that was jointly funded by EPFL of the swiss government , Mohammed VI University Morroco and Kabale university at cost of Ugx 300m
The people was aimed at building the necessary infrastructure to produce quality , digital Educational content such as massive online courses besides providing the trainees of Kabale University with appropriate theoretical and hands on instruction in the technical and pedagogical aspects of digital education.
Canon Johnson Baryantuma Munono the Kabale University Secretary as that that C-CODE program will benefit the entire 6,664 student enrolled at the university.
He hailed the brains behind the success of the program since it is only implemented at Kabale in the whole country.
Dr Nicholas Kamara the Kabale municipality Member of Parliament sad that be is to use his position in parliament lobby government for the appropriate of enough funds to strengthen e learning in Uganda saying that he is happy that In Uganda only Kabale has benefited from the program alongside other 5 Universities in Africa. The program has provided training to the University staff as well as providing necessary infrastructure for the program implementation.
He says that the center will help several learners to access learning online to avoid congestion at the University. It will also benefit breast feeding mothers & pregnant women as they can learn from home. A number of Primary School Teachers who enrolled in the Bachelor degree courses have so far benefited.
“I would like to thank the funders for their support and congratulate the University for being the only University in Uganda to win the grant. I urge the University to make sure the project of Competence in Digital Education impacts on the community in which they live, I studies my master’s degree in public health and a diploma in diabetes studies online this mean that any Ugandan can attain the desire academic qualifications online I did ”. Said Dr Kamara.
Dr Kamara, says that the initiative of E-learning is much welcome since it is the future of education, economics and the country as well.
He noted that most of the rich men across the globe, they have become rich because of Information Technology.
“As parliament, we are much in support when it comes to IT development. I am optimistic that the project will not only help Kabale but also Kigezi sub region as a whole.”