Makerere University’s new center of excellence is going to solve challenges associated with teaching in the University. It is called the Center of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL).
These challenges include, failure of lecturers to handle big classes, dealing with difficult students, identifying and dealing with students with learning difficulties among others.
Speaking at the inaugural workshop at Makerere University today, the Associate Professor Andrew Elias State, the director of the new center remarks that the newly established center will aim at reshaping all academic staff at Makerere University and other higher education institutions in Uganda with better skills of delivering lectures and assessing students.
He says that the newly established center will reshape all academic staff at Makerere University and other higher education institutions in Uganda with better skills of delivering lectures and assessing students.
Professor notes that this center will provide skills like critical thinking, digital and career focused skills that lecturers need to handle teaching students with less challenges.
The center will also help to equip and re-energize faculty, graduate teaching fellows, and graduate students in the University with skills in research on teaching and learning.
The center of excellence in research, teaching and learning is under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) and is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York.
Associate Professor Josephine Ahikire the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) remarks that this will offer opportunities for faculty to re-energize and learn from each other about the teaching of the humanities, arts and social sciences in a university.
She says this will be done through an exploration of new methods and practice of teaching that foster critical thinking and enable faculty to provide orientation, mentoring, and instructional support to new and upcoming faculty, to provide opportunities for renewal and growth among senior faculty in research and teaching in their respective disciplines.
The center will also conduct research on how to improve learning and teaching activities in the higher education sector.
According to Professor Umar Kakumba the deputy vice chancellor in charge of academic affairs, the center has come at the right time when education institutions have experienced the challenges by Covid-19, and that they should adapt to the changing world and embrace new technologies like online teaching and learning.
Recruitment into teaching at Makerere University and other higher education institutions in Uganda has for long been based on class performance, that is selecting students with first class degrees, but without any teaching skills to become lecturers which they say, had major challenges on the teaching and learning processes at the University.