On the 15th February 2018, the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT) conducted a workshop with the aim of coming up with a draft of the MSc. E-government Services and Technology curriculum with input from stakeholders. In attendance were College academic staff and members from the industry i.e. IT organizations, Ministry of ICT, and other stakeholders.
In his introductory remarks, Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga (Dean, SCIT) welcomed distinguished guests and other participants to the workshop. He further gave a brief overview about the MEST programme and reiterated the need to put infrastructure in place to train, research and conduct outreach programmes.
The Dean also recognized the support of the TSEED project team towards the development of the MEST programme and appreciated several stakeholders for their input i.e. Ministry of ICT & NG and NITA-U who participated in the needs assessment. He also thanked all those who had spared time to attend the workshop and looked forward to their feedback.
Officially opening the workshop was Prof. Tonny Oyana (Principal, CoCIS). He welcomed participants to the workshop and informed participants that CoCIS aimed at advancing science and influencing ICT policy. He acknowledged the importance of investing in technology as a basis for growth of economies. He defined e-governance as the strategic application of all forms of ICT to support government processes. He said that use of technology facilitated participation of even people who were hard to reach and could ensure balanced contribution from different parts of the economy.
He pointed out challenges to the growth of ICT like low digital interest and inadequate ICT capacity for planning units at district level and pointed out the strengths e.g. a strong national ICT policy, Investment in ICT infrastructure, Uganda’s vision 2040 etc. In reference to the proposed MEST programme and he noted the strong programme learning outcomes that needed to be specific and measurable, a lack of spatial analysis (analytical skills in handling locational information) that needed to be addressed and then declared the workshop officially open.
The Executive Director NITA-U, Mr. James Saka appreciated the idea of the MEST programme and also highlighted the following;
- The importance of equipping students with leadership skills
- Having expert knowledge and being able to express it in the area one has focused
- The importance of exposure and attachment to industry
- The importance of good communication skills
- Aligning programme learning outcomes with real world needs
The Deputy Director NITA-U thanked the organizing team for inviting him to the workshop. He noted that there were too many technical courses in the proposed MEST programme and encouraged end to end government services by putting everything online.
He added that Uganda constituted young population and it was important to plan for them. He also highlighted that the views of the industry in the development of the curriculum were important. It was ideal to get research problems from the industry.
He noted that the proposed curriculum was not very diverse. There was need to include courses on human psychology, management, economics and finance. That there was need to consider an emotional connection of the product and change management issues. He thanked all the participants and said that he looked forward to the first set of MEST graduates
The participants then disbanded into two focus groups for further deliberations on the proposed MEST programme. The two groups were divided into industry and government perspective and academia perspective and after deliberations shared their outcomes which were noted and are to be compiled to come with a final draft of the proposed MEST programme curriculum.
The workshop was closed by a vote of thanks from the Deputy Principal, Assoc. Prof. Agnes Rwashana. She thanked members for attending the workshop and for their valuable input. She thanked the Dean for the tremendous work and appreciated the idea of having an MoU between NITA-U and the College. She noted that the workshop was such an engaging experience and that it had yielded its purpose and declared the workshop officially closed