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An e - learning centre opened at the School of Food Technology

• Funded by e LEFANS project to the tune of 42,000 Euros
• 23 computers and other equipment procured
• Participants from patnering university undergo a week’s e- training

Cutting the tape The e- Learning centre opened

An e- learning centre fully furnished with equipment worth 42, 000 Euros has been opened at Makerere University’s School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering (SFTNB). The centre was unveiled during the opening ceremony of the one week’s e- training workshop held at the SFTNB held on Tuesday 23rd June, 2015. 

The establishment of the e-learning center at Makerere University has been funded by the European union funded project titled, “ Capacity building for, “ E-learning Network on Food and Nutrition Security with partner universities in Eastern Africa and Europe (eLEFANS). 

e-training inside the e- learning centre

The overall objective is to create and strengthen capacity of target institutions by improving access to quality and affordable higher education in the area of Food and Nutrition Security through internet based learning. 

eLEFANS is a three year ACP EU Cooperation Program in Higher Education (EDULINK II) implemented by six universities : Makerere, Egerton, Kenyatta, JKUAT, and Hawassa (East Africa) and University of Ulm, Germany (Coordinating University) Europe. The project has purchased 23 desktop computers, a laptop, scanner , projector, a printer and a video camera for the e-learning centre.

Ag. Principal CAES Dr. Gorettie Nabanoga giving remarks

The center was opened by the Ag. Principal CAES, Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, the Dean SFTNB Prof. John Muyonga and EU Project Coordinator, Prof. Micheal Leichsenring. Other special guests included the Eastern Africa Co ordinator Prof. Aselimo Makokha and Dr. Susanne Dreschl-Bogale. 

The special Guests also conducted a tour around the new extension building of the SFTBN funded by Government of Uganda under the Presidential initiative for value addition. One of the rooms has been earmarked to host the e-learning centre. The building is expected to be complete by July 2015. 

About 40 participants from the partnering Universities are undergoing a one weeks e- learning training at the e-learning centre. The training program is aimed at training participants on how to develope e - learning courses using Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE) and also share expertise in the development of e-learning courses. The training is also aimed at creating a platform for both academic and research collaboration among participating universities. 

While launching the centre, the Ag. Principal CAES Assoc. Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga appreciated the project design and inclusion of hardware resources geared towards addressing Africa’s and Higher education challenges of inadequate infrastructure.

Prof. John Muyonga, Prof. Archileo Kaaya and the Ag. Principal Dr. Gorettie Nabanoga lead the special guest to the e-learning centre

“I also appreciate the nutritional security component and I believe that it will enhance learning and understanding of the nutritional aspect as a key benefit. I also thank you for the particular arrangement of e-learning and using e- resources as one strategy that can improve learning given the inadequate resources”. Dr. Nabanoga said 

She expressed the university’s commitment to support the project activities and thanked the partner universities for choosing to work with Makerere University, the coordinators and the Dean SFTNB for giving space to the e-learning centre. 

The Dean School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering Prof. John Muyonga described the project as extremely useful given the food security situation especially in Africa. Prof. Muyonga observed that while Africa contributes approximately 16% of the world population, it is a home for approximately 27% of the undernourished persons globally presenting a major development challenge.

Prof. John Muyonga addressing participants

“As universities, our main role remains knowledge and human resources production. I am glad that our colleagues from University of Ulm initiated this project and assembled an able and committed team to address the important problem of capacity development.” Prof. Muyonga added : 

“I feel your strategy of promoting e-learning is quiet appropriate in this era of high demand for university training against limited capacity at universities. It is also appropriate because it facilitates sharing of resources among different universities”. The Dean said. 

Guests and their host inside the e -learning centre

Prof. Muyonga thanked the project for investing in both human and infrastructural capacity building saying this will hasten the adoption of e- teaching in food and nutrition sciences at the partner universities. 

He said Makerere University seeks to mainstream e- learning as a strategy to improve access to university education and to promote lifelong learning. He said the eLEFANS project was in line with the university strategic direction pledging to ensure its sustainability. 

A section of participants attending the opening ceremony

Prof. Muyonga told participants that Makerere University also appreciate the need for partnership among higher institutions of learning as well as linking up with non university stakeholders. He appealed to the project team o dedicate itself wholeheartedly to delivery of the important outputs articulated in the proposal and beyond the expectations to build the reputation of the participating universities and to benefit the target groups.

Participants posing for a group photo

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