As Ugandan Universities remain closed over the COVID-19 Pandemic, Makerere University has resorted to applying for the MasterCard Foundation COVID-19 recovery and resilience programme to finance the establishment of smart classrooms.
It should be recalled that universities were allowed to resume studies through e-learning which Makerere University officials claim was slowed down by funding problems.
According to Professor Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics at Makerere University, the university needs over 3.7 billion Shillings to support the establishment of smart classrooms at each college in addition to the upscaling of wireless hotspots in campus premises.
“We hope that if we get this grant, it will push us far. We are already building capacity in other areas like training staff on the utilization of digital technologies, online course design and pedagogy. Now we need the infrastructure that will enable us to deliver,” Professor Kakumba said recently.
Professor Kakumba added that they are planning to integrate their system with remote collaboration tools like zoom at each collage.
“We are going to integrate our system with remote collaboration tools like zoom. We also think of getting over 100 zoom licenses with each college having the capacity to host up to 500 participants,” Prof. Kakumba added.
A smart classroom is technology-enhanced set up that fosters opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, networking, and audio/visual capabilities.
It is worthy recalling that that the MasterCard Foundation put up a programme to help educational institutions continue offering their courses digitally. The programme was also aimed at mentoring students as well as preparing learning institutions for future crises that may require temporary closure.
Kyambogo University has also already put aside over 400 million Shillings to get Google classroom licenses as they plan to kick off lectures.