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Government asks Universities to adopt ICT system in quality assurance

Government asks Universities to adopt ICT system in quality assurance

The Senior Presidential advisor of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Mr Sam Mukasa Mulira urged universities to embrace the ICT system in order to improve their quality assurance in service delivery. He made the remark during the official opening of the Uganda Universities Quality Assurance Forum workshop (UUQA) held at Clarke International University in Kampala on Wednesday, 11th March 2020.

UUQAF is a forum for quality assurance officers from universities were they bring together their experiences in working out strategies on how best they can ensure quality assurance in higher institutions.

Mr Mulira said that it’s now the right time to see how ICT can be adopted and enhanced in functions of quality assurance in universities. “In order to improve our quality assurance on labour market we need to have adequate knowledge and skills and this can be attained by adopting ICT systems in all universities, “he said Mr Mulira also said  that institutions are spending  more  money in  reading and  printing handouts  but using ICT will save time and money  because they will be using E- learning system . “ICT starts with infrastructure and you need to have standard structures in place where your going to install these systems because they need high level of  safety ,”he said.  Mr Mulira added that, with ICT system, even research becomes easy because teachers and student will be able to get more information from several scholars. “With ICT very thing is interconnected and this also helps in terms of communication because all device get connected and have access to information,” he said

Ms Florence Githinji the quality assurance officer from Clarke international University said that UUQAF aims at ensuring quality in all  universities  through service delivery  “We encourage all Ugandans to check their quality assurance and how they treat their clients using the bench marking model to know what is happening in other universities,” she said Ms Githinji also revealed that more sensitisation is needed to improved quality assurance in higher institutions of learning and they are working together with   National Council for Higher Education to put that in place. “Some of the staff find it hard to adopt the culture of quality assurance in teaching and learning however we are doing a lot of training to achieve this,” she said

Ms Rose Clarke Nanyonga the Vice chancellor Clarke International University  said that UUQAF has been instrumental in supporting universities to establish quality assurance systems and process in mentoring faculties .

The theme was about how we can a foster inclusion of teaching faculty into the quality assurance process because  leaders in higher institution knows that if you’re going to be effective, quality assurance matters”, ”she said Ms Nanyonga added that because several lecturers interact with students you have to make sure that teaching faculty are moving with quality assurance forward through curriculum and obstructions


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We need a rational response to Corona virus in Uganda

We need a rational response to Corona virus in Uganda

The COVID 19 virus has inspired global panic. Hollywood movies have exploited the deep-seated fear we have that one day a disease could threaten humanity, and COVID-19 has the virulence to match some of these paranoid tales. People’s responses to this actual threat are based on paranoia than rational thought. There are young healthy people isolating themselves from everyone in fear of death. Stories of new deaths happening on the other side of the globe cause us to assume the grim reaper is outside our own doors.

What is the actual risk? And if we understand this, what is a reasonable and rational response as individuals, communities and as a nation?

It should be understood there are 2 things to consider. Current risk, and potential risk. At the time of writing this I have known people in self-imposed lockdown for weeks, but what is the actual risk they are hiding from? Let’s do some maths. There are currently around 780,000 known COVID19 cases worldwide. There are around 7,800,000,000 people worldwide. That’s only 0.01% of the world population known to have the disease, and in Uganda, that figure is almost certainly much lower than this.

Tragically we have seen 36,000 deaths from Coronavirus worldwide. It’s a big number, but a tiny percentage of the world’s population and the vast majority of these were old people - our demographic is of a very young population. And consider the number of deaths from much more common diseases, ones we are currently far more likely to encounter in Uganda. WHO reported an estimated 228 million cases, and 405,000 global deaths from malaria in 2018 alone, most of whom were children, most of which were in sub-Saharan Africa. Compare this to the 36,000 total deaths from Coronavirus worldwide.

So why the panic? Until Museveni effectively banned all vehicles on the road we were more likely to get run over or die in a car crash than contract the disease, let alone die from it. The concern is not the current threat, but the potential such a virulent disease may have to spread and for these numbers described to increase exponentially. A young person may have a negligible risk of becoming seriously ill from the disease, but passing it to a Jaja could be fatal. Moving between borders could take the disease into a new nation. It needs to be taken seriously.

In the UK the strategy is to slow the spread with lockdown measures such that deaths are minimized until a vaccine is found, and to reduce the strain on the health service so that it is not overwhelmed. The strategy makes sense in the UK. Coronavirus represents one of the most significant potential health threats the nation is currently facing.

But is Uganda correct in taking our cue from the west in this instance? Coronavirus is not the biggest threat facing our health service. Malaria, TB, HIV have not gone away. We have stopped people from being able to travel. What happens if a child gets sick with malaria today? Isn’t there a very real risk that the parents will not be able to get that child to treatment? There is a very real danger of these lockdown measures being a direct cause of death for a child in that situation. Add to this the huge impact on those already affected by poverty. How does a laborer who is paid daily feed his family if he is unable to get to work? In the UK no one will die from starvation due to their lockdown, and those who can’t work are still being guaranteed 80% of their income by the government. Clearly no such support is possible from the Ugandan government, and people do already die from poverty here. And God helps any mother who is expecting a new arrival soon.

The response considers the pandemic as the only factor to address and ignores all other current and potential threats. We need to be responsible as global citizens to control this disease. Sensible measures, of course, need to be taken; keep social distancing, stay home when you can, close places of worship, even schools, keep borders locked down, wash hands. But those measures that negatively impact our economy or access to health services, and which put the most vulnerable at the greatest risk are dangerous and should be reconsidered urgently.