MUST launches an eLearning Digital Studio/Regional Center of Excellence Hub

In relation to becoming a center of excellence in science, technology, and innovation, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) took a major step forward on 22nd March 2024 with the official launch of the eLearning Studio and Content Digitization Hub at Kihumuro campus. The new facility, constructed by Cyber School Technology Solutions (CSTS) under the Cyber School-Mastercard Foundation Uganda eLearning Initiative, is the first of its kind in the region and will not only serve MUST, but the whole of Western Uganda.

The launch was officiated by Dr. Warren Naamara, the University Council Chairperson, the other guests were; the Vice University Chair Council, Ms. Sarah Nyacho Mwaka, the acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Nickson Kamukama who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, esteemed University council members, representatives from Cyber School Technology Solutions led by Mr. Charles Yakani the Digital Pedagogy Program Lead from Cyberschool and Mr. Henry Semakula the Principal Education Officer under the Directorate of Higher, Technical & Vocational Education and Training in Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda.

Dr. Warren Naamara, the University Council Chairperson, expressed his appreciation to the CSTS team for partnering with MUST to realise this important milestone that will shape the future of e-learning at MUST and urged the university staff to take full advantage of the new hub. Dr. Naamara encouraged staff to interest themselves with the new equipment, how they can utilise them to full potential, for not only study purposes but other possibilities like creating revenue through products developed. The potential for starting a university radio using the facility was also highlighted.

Giving his remarks, Mr. Charles Yakani from CSTS noted that through the partnership, in addition facilitating the infrastructure and set up of the e-learning studio and hub, they have trained 50 MUST staff in pedagogy and plan to continue the midway 5 year partnership to develop staff in developing content for e-learning. He informed members that this e-learning initiative was born out of the COVID 19 pandemic when all schools were closed and ways of alternative teaching had to be explored.

Mr. Amos Baryashaba, the Head of ICT Services at MUST led the tour to show case the hub, which has two sections: a workspace for planning and scripting digital content, and a studio for filming and developing the content. The main purpose behind this initiative is to MUST’s capacity to provide teaching and learning through eLearning.

Representing the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Henry Semakula thanked the University for agreeing to host the hub. He emphasized the importance of educational institutions delivering quality education, especially in today’s rapidly changing world. He believes this launch will help overcome many challenges surrounding learning.

Re-echoing the need for partnerships, Prof. Nixon Kamukama appreciated Cyber School Technology Solutions and the Mastercard Foundation for their vital contributions to walk this journey to reality. He noted that all infrastructure was given by the partners and MUST provided the space. In addition, Cyber School has provided the technical staff to train MUST in utilising the studio and calls upon MUST staff to utilise this opportunity. He emphasised the rationale for the studio and hub as it will help with decongesting lecture rooms and improve the quality of education at MUST.

Dr. Specioza Twinamatsiko, a lecturer at MUST recorded a lecture to demonstrate how the equipment works for students

The launch of the e-learning studio and digitalisation hub is indeed the dawn of a new era at MUST.

Succeed we MUST