Uganda’s Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Mrs. Janet Museveni has encouraged the teaching of science in local languages.
This was during the College of Education and External Studies Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) Open Day on Thursday at Makerere University, themed ‘Education Research for Sustainable Development.’
Appearing virtually, Mrs. Museveni said, “I think it’s fine that we find a way of bringing those issues in science that makes sense to a child at primary level in their mother tongue. That’s when science will make sense to us and well become transitional when we get involved in teaching science in the mother tongues.”
“When you teach science in the mother tongue, it becomes real, meaningful, and then perhaps then we can have more scientists in our society.”
She also applauded the college for its initiative of Open Distance E-Learning (ODeL) which has been building staff and students’ capacity in the application of ODEL pedagogy in the entire university. She said,
“As the ministry, we applaud you for this initiative and I urge you to extend the expertise in ODeL beyond Makerere university to benefit other higher education institutions in need of this knowledge.”
Prof Fred Masagazi Musaazi, the college principal noted that the projects that have been showcased through the exhibition and physical presentations are part of the 36 government-funded projects to find innovative solutions to the problems affecting the respective government sectors and society at large.
“Hon Minister, this timely Government intervention coincided with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected several sectors but more profoundly the education sector. From the research, we note that we are not likely to go back to the pre-covid-19 school setting but rather we will innovatively reimagine the education system with new ways of action in the area of curriculum, the delivery (pedagogy), the instructional materials (technologies), the assessment, teacher preparation, retooling of teachers, leadership and leadership development for the post-COVID-19 education system,” he said.
The chairperson of Makerere Research and Innovation Fund (Mak-RIF), Prof William Bazeyo, commended the minister for prioritization of research through funding.
“Through your funding, we have a total of 710 projects running and if you gave one project at least to three university staff, you have more than 2,000 members of the academia involved in research funded by our government,” he said.
Mrs. Lorna Magara, chairperson of the University Council noted that high education should be delivered as a partnership among various institutions and stakeholders.
“The partnership approach will be crucially important as we transition into the new normal brought by covid-19 especially amongst public universities that draw sources from the same source.
For example, Makerere university spends around 1.5 Bn Shs towards electronic library resources, and I assume other public universities spend on these resources as well.
A partnership approach could provide ways of having these electronic library resources shared amongst universities,” she explained.