Kabale University Takes Learning to LearnersGodfrey Sempungu Joseph
Kabale University (KAB), together with other partners, is offering a custom-tailored learning opportunity to in-service teachers in southwestern Uganda! This flexible e-Learning programme shall allow in-service teachers to acquire a Bachelor in Primary Education (BEP) degree by studying at their own convenience and pace, without having to travel to the university (except for examinations). This partnership has been greatly boosted by a donation from the Canadian government, and the implementation is supported by Canadian Institute of Mass Communication (CIMC).
Under this highly flexible and contextualized learning programme, enrolled teachers will receive distance education through Educational Lecture Videos (ELVs) provided on computers at a Local Study Centre. Students who cannot come to the Study Centres, particularly women, will be given Mobile Video Players (containing the ELVs) along with solar power chargers so that they can study from the comfort of their homes or workplaces. There have been collaborative efforts to develop instructional material which will also be provided to students. A well-furnished state-of-the-art e-Learning center of excellence is being set up at Kabale University under this project.
On 31 January 2022, Mr. Santosh Shail, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Mass Communication (CIMC), officially handed over to Kabale University the following equipment, donated by the Government of Canada, for the implementation of the “Blended E-Learning Project for the Empowerment of Women in Uganda”. Among others, this equipment included:
- Full set of Audio-Visual Equipment for the production of Education Lecture Videos, including 2 laptops, 2 video cameras, 2 lapel microphones, 2 lights, tripods, headphones, external speakers, and accessories
- 30 All-in-one Desktop Computers for District Study Centres of Kabale University
- 6 portable External Hard Disk Drives (HDD) of 5TB storage capacity each, for storage of ELVs and transfer to Study Centers
- 30 SD Card Reader Adapters
- 250 micro SDXC Flash Cards (64GB ) with Adapters
- 250 Mobile Video Players (hand-held devices) with earphones
- 250 Solar Charger devices (to charge the video players)
This project is designed to test an innovative solution that promotes gender equality and to empower women in the teaching profession in Uganda. It is a direct response to the recently approved National Teacher Policy that threatens to exacerbate gender disparities in a largely patriarchal country such as Uganda. It is a trial run of an innovative locally-driven prototype technology solution to measure behavioral changes in target beneficiaries (women in-service teachers) in selected districts of southwestern Uganda, aiming to validate the test results for future scalable and replicable applications for greater impact.
Specifically, the project is testing a two-pronged solution that involves: i) widespread sensitization and capacity-building campaigns that highlight the importance of women’s socio-economic participation in Uganda; and ii) a cost-effective, blended, and decentralized e-learning program that will allow women to upgrade their teaching certifications without having to travel to universities or regularly access the Internet. The project is hosted at the Kabale University Faculty of Education, and implemented in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institute of Mass Communication (CIMC), CEED Concordia, and Action for Development (ACFODE).
The results of this test project will provide critical insight into the potential for transformative change in Uganda’s education system using a community-driven blended learning solution that seeks to dismantle gender barriers and empower women Teachers to continue their participation in the workforce.