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University Officials Challenged to Develop Clear Policies on e-Learning

Universities have been asked to take the online classes more seriously as more employers have started scrutinizing the quality of e-learning, a state official has said.

Speaking at a forum held by the Commissioner for Higher Education (CUE), the principal secretary for University Education and Research Simon Nabukwesi said that students seeking admission for online learning should be subjected to the same recruitment method as those joining regular classes.

“They want to see a return on investment made in university education,”Nabukwesi said on employer expectations.

Read: UoN Law Students Sue Institution Over Online Classes, Exams

Officials from various universities who attended the event said that not all students want to attend the classes physically.

“Not all learners want to study conventionally. We should allow those who want to take their lessons online to be recruited strictly for that,” said Ezra Maritim, the Director, School of Distance Learning at Egerton University

Nabukwesi further challenged the universities to adopt a diverse approach in the executing their role and helping students to thrive.

Read: Mass Layoffs Looming In Public Universities As CS Magoha Asks VCs To Sack ‘Unnecessary’ and Lazy Staffers

“Emerging techniques of teaching and technology need to be embedded in the programmes offered in university,” said Nabukwesi

The chairperson of CUE, Chacha-Nyaigoti -Chacha said Covid-19 had affected the delivery of education globally.

“The university sub-sector has had to adjust and embrace digital learning platforms to ensure continuity of teaching and learning,” he said.

Read also: Babu Owino Gifted Two Goats By Maasai Delegation Over Online Classes, Names Them Uhuru And Raila

The two day meeting brought together scholars and policy makers from the Universities. They discussed the various strategies taken by the institutions to tackle the disruptions brought about by the pandemic.

About 300 delegates from different professional backgrounds attended the meeting.

The officials also said that a clear policy on online learning must be developed. They claimed that the Universities have never mainstreamed e-learning and in most cases, the avenue was merely used as an revenue generating stream.

Read also: Huawei Initiative Gives a Lifeline to e-learning During Covid-19 Pandemic

“Financing of distance learning has always been an income generating initiative. It has remained undeveloped,” said Maritim.

Daystar University Vice-chancellor Laban Ayiro said technology has come in handy. “Cost of bundles, uncertain connectivity, and capacity of both instructors and learners to utilise technology platforms still exist,” said Ayiro

However, The Cabinet Secretary for Education, George Magoha who was also in attendance, said that the government’s assistance was limited. He challenged the universities  to develop their own ways of transforming their own education policies.

“It is universities themselves that must come up with solutions to challenges that face them,” said Magoha.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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