The IDLEL07 conference on Open Source solutions was held from 22nd to 24th August at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. The theme of the conference was Open source solutions for open government and open data in Africa. The primary goal of IDLELO7 is to increase the awareness, integration and adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) in Africa within the theme emphasizing how such Free and Open Source solutions are being used to achieve Open Data and Open Government frameworks. This entails promoting Open Source software sharing in Africa.
The speakers included; Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance. The minister said that the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance had prioritized research and innovation as one of the key areas of focus of the medium and long term. The minister also presented the ICT sector strategy and investment plan priorities innovation to create a systematic and enabling environment for the advancement of FOSS.
Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation presented on the role of FOSS in fostering science related software to the real-world problems and research and development is essential, and the government was committed to this. He also said that Software Development is young but with a gross potential
Nnenna Nwakanma; the Africa Regional Director Web Foundation from Ghana also presented on Open data for sustainable Development in Africa. She shared the confluence of Open things – Open Governance, Open Data, Open Solutions and tasked Uganda to join Open Data Partnership. She also encouraged young people to go past developing apps to providing solutions, for local problems and encouraged women and girls get into ICT and innovation
Seun Ojedeji, a member of the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA) recognized that NITA-U has a role in drafting the nationwide FOSS policies. He also recognized communities like; COSIS, ILICIT Africa, Outbox, UN Global Pulse Lab, Women of Uganda Network, Incubation Labs MUK. He also officially invited NITA-U to become a FOSSFA Member. Mr. Seun announced the host of IDLELO8 as Durban, South Africa.
Other speakers included Mr. James Saaka, the Executive director of the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U),Linnet Kwamboka, the CEO of Data Science Kenya, James Wire from CURED limited Uganda and Professor Patrick Mangeni, a former NITA-U board member.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of ICT and National guidance in partnership with NITA Uganda, Huawei, the Free and open source software foundation Africa (FOSSFA), Makerere University.
The National ICT Workshop for Secondary School Head Teachers was held from 10th to 11th August 2016 at the Makerere University Main Hall. The conference was organized by Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Science (CoCIS), the National Information Technology Authority - Uganda (NITA-U) and the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES). The training was meant to improve ICT skills and attitudes required of head teachers to effectively integrate ICT in education management and achievement of high quality imperatives of secondary school education in Uganda.
The workshop was presided over by several dignitaries namely; Prof. B. Nuwange, Deputy Vice Chancellor (F&A), Makerere University, Dr. A. Rwashana, Deputy Principal, CoCIS, Dr. R. Nassali Lukwago the Guest of Honor, Permanent Secretary MoES, Dr. Y. K. Nsubuga, Commissioner Secondary Education – MoES and Dr. Frederick Kitoogo, Director Planning, Research & Development, NITA (U).
The workshop intended to harness the potentials of ICT to achieve the goal of inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. The workshop also provided a platform for high level policy dialogue and knowledge sharing on how to effectively and efficiently integrate ICTs into secondary education.
Dr. Nsubuga remarked that over 1037 computer labs will be constructed for Secondary schools under the UCC, MoES, and NITA (U) partnership and that retooling of 300 Secondary school teachers in ICT during the school holidays was currently underway. In addition, he encouraged teachers to register with the web portal built by MoES (www.tmins.go.ug)
The conference also focused on ICT policies for education, equipment’s and applications for school records and information management, ICT for teaching and learning in secondary schools, ICT capabilities in the classroom etc.
The workshop had approximately 45 Secondary school Head teacher’s in attendance from various districts namely Kampala, Gulu, Bushenyi, Masaka etc.
In conclusion, the conference and training workshop is to continue contributing in setting up students for success in an increasingly smart connected world with increasing and committed support from the partners that sponsored the workshop i.e. MoES, NITA (U), and CoCIS.
Prof. Constance Obura-Okello (Principal, College of Computing and IS) together with Mr. Bernard Kirk (Co-Founder, Africa Code Week), Dr. Jonathan Serugunda, (Lecturer, College of Engineering, Design, Art & Technology), and Mr. Paul Bakaki (HOD, Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development) met to discuss the Africa Code Week initiative.
Africa Code Week (ACW) is an initiative to empower future generations with the coding tools and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce and become key actors in Africa's economic development. In 2016 it is planned that for 1 week, 30 African countries will have 1000+ coding workshops involving 150,000 children and youths across the continent.
“In the knowledge sharing age we live in, skilled volunteering is the key for large-scale initiatives such as ACW”
Claire Gillessen-Duval; SAP, founding member and Global Lead ACW
The College of Computing and IS has been selected by Africa Code Week as a partner in this initiative to give some of its students the opportunity to participate this year. The programme itself is a half day workshop where students will participate alongside the 1500+ other students across Africa. The dates for ACW in Uganda are not yet finalized as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the relevant partners.
The other Uganda partners; Makerere University, College of Engineering, Design, Art & Technology (CEDAT), ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Women In Technology Uganda (WITU) are delighted to bring ACW to Uganda and are look at tentative dates of October 15th – 23rd 2016 to implement and tackle the countries digital skills gap.
The Systems Modeling and Design workshop was held on 22nd to 26th August 2016 at Makerere University College of Computing & Information Sciences, Software Center. The workshop aimed at training staff to equip students in the School of Computing and Informatics Technology (SCIT) to deliver quality products as professionals and be more competitive in the market.
About 95% of the students at SCIT, both undergraduates and graduates, use UML as part of design in their projects. The staff needs to be able to supervise and examine these projects in a consistent manner. The training therefore aimed to improve the quality of teaching and assessment of final year projects.
UML is the most commonly used programming language for designing software systems. Good products must be delivered in a predictable manner, and UML provides the capability to analyze requirements, understand the product to be developed, and foster communication between stakeholders. The UML training code named ’Training of Trainers’ sought to equip teaching staff with refresher skills on design using UML so that students can also receive these practical skills
Teaching Staff of CoCIS and Universities in the region, including Kenya and Rwanda participated in the workshop. The trainer Mr. Roozbeh Mehrabadi is an experienced lecturer at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Tutorial sessions were held every day, with lectures in the morning sessions, and hands-on practical’s in the afternoon sessions. The training was fully sponsored by IEEE.
Dr. Seog-Soo Han (President, KERIS), Ms. Boseon Kim Chief, (Global Cooperation Section, KERIS) and Mr. Taehun Kwon (Researcher, KERIS) met with a delegation from the College of Computing and IS that comprised of Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello-Obura (Principal), Agnes Semwanga Rwashana (Deputy Principal), Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga (Dean, SCIT), Dr. William Kiyingi (Dean, EASLIS), Dr. Evelyn Kigozi Kahiigi (HOD, IT), Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha (HOD, CS), and Mr. Charles Halonda-Funa Communications Officer. Also in attendance was a representative from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda.
The objective of the visit was to
- Exchange first-hand experiences and insights on both countries’ ICT-based education and research information services.
- Expand and consolidate the network of global cooperation between KERIS and partner countries, especially with Higher Education institutions.
The Korea Education & Research Information Service or KERIS, is a governmental organization under the South Korean Ministry of Education that develops, proposes, and advises on current and future government policies and initiatives regarding education in South Korea. Its current focus is on the development of ICT in educational systems in Korea and abroad and works closely with international organizations such as the World Bank and UNESCO to assist other nations in developing or improving their own ICT infrastructure and implementation. In addition to policy, KERIS provides educators and the public with educational services such as the National Education Information Service (NEIS, http://neis.go.kr) the Research Information Service System (RISS, http://riss.kr) the National Education Service System (EDUNET, http://edunet.net), and Korea Open CourseWare (KOCW, http://kocw.net)The stated mission of KERIS is to develop human resources through e-Learning, regain public trust in education, lay a foundation for a knowledge and information-based society by activation of eLearning, and to enhance national education and research competitiveness through academy digitalization. It works towards these goals by being involved in multiple ongoing tasks and projects.
Both delegations agreed on
- Finding better ways to further develop the Education Support Project using Solar Powered Internet School Project currently in the demo phase at Makerere College School, Natete.
- Fostering teachers’ capabilities for the 21st digital age by conducting training workshop here in Uganda.
- Setting a technical team with members from CoCIS and KERIS and find ways to explore the current MOU that was signed by both Ministry of Education in Korea and Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda.
The orientation for the first year students at the College of Computing and Information Science was held on 29th August 2016 at CoCIS (Block B, Level 2, Big Lab). The orientation was meant to inform the students of the basic guidelines of the University as well as ask questions and share experiences. The event was attended by Lecturers, Administrators and Students leaders.
The Principal Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello-Obura encouraged the students to diversify in the activities they are involved in within their tenure at the University by cooperating with the student leaders. He also advised the students to report any cases of Sexual harassment as well as refrain from asking for favors in exchange for relationships. Security of the University was guaranteed but warned to be students to always be vigilant.
“Terrorism is real”, the Principal said, “Be vigilant and love your College like you love yourself, for a prosperous future” he added.
The Deputy Principal Dr. Agnes S. Rwashana encouraged the female students in the College not to feel intimidated and put their best foot forward in attaining quality education. She also advised them to report any cases of Sexual harassment though their Class representatives and Student leaders.
The Bursar, Mr. Elwana Tom Vok advised the students to pay their tuition in time to avoid cases of tuition theft. The bursar also advised the students to pay tuition from any branch in Uganda to avoid travelling with the cash because anything might happen before the students arrive at University. He advised the first year students not to try forgery of any kind of documents for it shall lead to dismissal if noticed.
The Registrar, Mr. Patrick Babanga PFeni, advised the students who wanted to change courses to make haste and visit the respective offices at Senate Building. He also advised the students to wait for their university identity cards which show that they are registered with the University.