Makerere University releases online learning, examinations programme

The University Academic Registrar, Alfred Namoah Masikye, said the university senate sat on August 9, and resolved to resume teaching of students through ODeL (Open Distance e-Learning).

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Makerere University has released an online learning and examinations programme through which the university intends to resume teaching its students.

Like any other educational institution, Makerere was affected by the COVID-19 second wave, which resulted in President Yoweri Museveni locking down the country for 42 days on June 18. 

However, the President relaxed some of the measures after the end of the 42 days on July 30.

In a statement, Friday, the University Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye, said the university senate sat on August 9 and resolved to resume the teaching of students through ODeL (Open Distance e-Learning).

“Makerere University Senate at its emergency meeting held on August 9, 2021, deliberated on resumption of teaching and learning online for semester II (2020/2021) for final year students and graduate programmes that had completed Semester I (2020/2021) examinations,” Mr. Masikye said.

He added; “Senate also deliberated on the return of students on the Health Sciences programmes (starting with clinical years) for completion of Semester I 2020/2021 examinations and resumption of Semester II 2020/2021, following the authorization and guidelines from the National Council for Higher Education.”

He said Senate agreed to have a staggered/split commencement of Semester II 2020/2021, where teaching and learning through ODEL for Semester II 2020/2021 will commence on August 30, 2021, for final year students and graduate programmes that had completed Semester I 2020/2021 examinations.

The Senate also resolved that reporting for students on Medical and Health Science programmes will commence with the clinical years and graduate students as advised by the Principal College of Health Sciences (CHS) and College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) on August 16, 2021.

While relaxing the lockdown measures during his address to the nation on July 30, President Museveni said medical and health training institutions would re-open today (August 13). 

The reopening, however, will happen in a phased manner, allowing 33% of the student population at the institution at any time.

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According to the Makerere senate; “The rest of the students in non-clinical years will resume through virtual lectures, until further guidance from NHCE and Ministry of Education and Sports.”

Academic Units and faculty members were advised to make all preparations to update teaching and learning materials on the Makerere University E-Learning Environment (MUELE), which is run by the university’s E-learning department under the College of Education and External Studies.

“The purpose of this communication is to inform you about the decision of Senate. The detailed Semester calendar will be sent in due course,” the academic registrar stated.

Masikye said the Senate also deliberated on alternative modalities of assessment/examination to enable students who were affected by the second Lockdown against Covid-19 pandemic complete Semester I 2020/2021.

Senate noted that there are alternative assessment tools and methods to assess learning outcomes used and tested in educational institutions across the globe.

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“There was ongoing sensitization of staff and students on the alternative assessment methods. Students were required to first complete Semester I before embarking on Semester II teaching and learning,” the senate observed.

It added that examinations for Semester I 2020/2021 for year I and other continuing students be conducted from September 6 – 24, 2021. 

Source: NV

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