Vice Chancellors from both public and private universities have undergone a mandatory COVID-19 test ahead of their scheduled meeting with the Education and Sports Minister, Janet Kataha Museveni.
A source told URN on Monday evening that the office of the Education Minister had sent out an email inviting 20 Vice Chancellors for the meeting on Wednesday indicating that they must test for Covid19.
“The vice Chancellors had requested for this meeting sometime back as they wanted to discuss several issues affecting the universities during this time. So, yesterday (Monday) we were told that the meeting we eventually take place. They, however, noted that we should undergo a Covid19 test,” the source said.
The tests were eventually conducted at Kampala international university on Tuesday afternoon. Dr. John Ssenyonyi, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor Uganda Christian University who also doubles as the chairperson of the University Vice Chancellor’s Forum confirmed the scheduled meeting but declined to speak on the mandatory Covid19 test.
Despite the fact that the agenda of the meeting is still unknown, some vice Chancellors who spoke to URN think that they will be discussing issues rotating around the implementation of the emergency Open, Distance e-Learning- ODeL system for Higher Education institutions in the lockdown.
Over the weekend, Janet Museveni gave universities and other higher institutions of learning green light to conduct the much-desired e-learning. She however directed that no student should be left behind in the implementation of the e-learning.
Subsequently, the National Council for Higher Education has also issued guidelines for e-learning. The guideline set over 23 conditions for universities if they are to be accredited to adopt the ODeL system.
The conditions include among others that the institutions provide a structure and details of the proposed ODeL model including the equipment or the available logistical arrangements indicating how the material will be delivered to learners, a list of the accredited academic programs to be rolled out on the system since the guidelines will support the roll out of only accredited academic programs.
“There is a possibility that we will be discussing these issues. But am not sure because I don’t know the agenda of the meeting as of now,” said Dr. Ssenyonyi. He however, said that the university heads might also be interested in discussing the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on universities and how they can be helped.
The vice-chancellors especially from private universities have been pushing for fiscal stimulus, arguing that unless they receive significant government .
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