When Uganda announced lockdown and the closing of educational institutions due to COVID-19, many avid promoters of virtual and online learning considered it a great opportunity to change the practice of student’s learning in higher education. Although such a concept of education has been on the agenda for close to two decades yet it failed due to the insufficient development of Information and communication technology that was responsible for the development of e-learning. Beyond the National investment in infrastructure, there has to be a dedicated effort to change the mindset and capacities of both the providers and users of e-learning. Thus, this blog briefs you about the major issues due to which education in Uganda failed to democratize during COVID-19.
Reasons why online learning failed to democratize education!
Staff capacity development and attitude towards online learning
Few of the staff have interests in e-learning and have policies to promote the enhancement of pedagogical practice and continuing lecturer education as a mandatory requirement in order to match the dynamic changes in ICT and learning. But it was seen that the major focus of several staff development initiatives in Uganda has been more towards advanced degrees at Masters and Doctoral levels rather than promoting online learning. This attitude towards the virtual mode of education caused the failure of student’s learning during this pandemic.
Language barriers have become one of the major issues
Most of the students from low-income families have serious challenges with the medium of instruction. Needless to mention parents with higher illiteracy levels expect to support them in homeschooling rather than taking up virtual classes.
The generation gap and attitude to using ICT
While many have adopted mobile telephony as a way of life and using it to promote communication, entrepreneurship and other day-to-day operations, a blended approach was expected to be used by many institutions to reach out to most of the students during such outbreak, but many students with low-income were left out of the digital move. In addition, the institutions themselves have not embraced mobile telephony as an alternative learning aid. This became one of the key issues for the failure of conducting virtual classes in Uganda.
Most of the teachers were unaware of the new technologies
Many teachers have not been given the opportunity to refresh their teacher training to incorporate technology while sitting at home and taking virtual classes during this lockdown. Moreover, they face challenges on ownership of phones and access to the internet in their localities. This is why they have failed to keep up with the latest technology trends.
Fear of the unknown and inequity in access to ICT resources
Most of the universities that attempted to offer an online degree course, to students is provided with limited and inequitable access to ICT resources. Despite the substantial investment in Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and an increase in mobile phone coverage, ICT has not been appreciated as an alternative model to facilitate higher education learning. Thus, the socio-economic background and access to ICT resources remain a hindrance to virtual classes in higher education. Majority of the Ugandans face a huge challenge in internet usage and only a few of them are able to use it.
This lockdown is the right time to reflect on how virtual education can be mainstreamed in the offering of degree programs and can be accessed by most youths. Thus, keeping this in mind, the Cavendish University of Uganda, is providing students across the world with an adequate amount of scopes for online education not only by offering them online scholarships but also by providing them the most advanced educational mode of learning. This is the only top private university in Uganda to have embraced the latest technologies to make the online mode of learning a great success during this lockdown. Not just the technology, the highly educated professionals of CUU, believes in student-centric model of active participatory learning in order to transform students into responsible, educated, employable and entrepreneurial citizens. Their online degree courses provide a flexible, accessible and cost-effective mode of education and are designed to enhance the student’s learning experience by providing an online/offline interactive platform. Unlike other private universities, the Cavendish University Uganda’s virtual platform has improved features such as:
- Ability to track and monitor academic progress
- Access to online lecturers
- An adaptive learning management platform
- Online and offline learning capability
- Self-assessment and comparison
- Collaboration through messages, forums and chat
So, why wait when you have such an incredible and prestigious university to guide you all through this pandemic? Call them up right now at +256 414531700 and apply in order to utilize most of the lockdown in democratizing the education online.