Makerere University has launched the first Smart Classroom Facility in Uganda worth over $100,000 USD. The facility accommodating 50 computers will be used for recording, broadcasting, and automation in the classroom including monitoring the examination, quizzes, and any other form of assessment.

The University has also received and assembled a technological Robot (UBTECH Robot) to undertake Artificial intelligence functionalities for the teaching and learning environments. The robot has functionalities of speech recognition, identification of an individual, photo taking, and management of attendance within the class. Still, it accepts all kinds of programming depending on the user’s needs.

And Robot has a simple interface. The commands can be sent to a Robot through a mobile phone, computer or laptop and it works according to other commands, for example, walk, dance, what day is today, etc.

Video of the robot singing

The Smart Classroom system and Robotics technology establishment at Makerere University have been funded by the Chinese taxpayer and education technology companies under the auspices of UNESCO.

The Smart Classroom and the Robot were commissioned by Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on 9th September 2022 at the College of Computing and Information Sciences.

The function was also graced by online guests from China including Prof. Lyu Feng, Assistant Director and Chief of IIOE Management Centre UNESCO-ICHEI Shenzen China, and Prof. Jeff Lee, General Manager, Guangzhou CreateView International Data information. Ltd Guangzhou China. Principals and their deputies, Deans Heads of departments, and staff across the university also attended.

While launching the facility, the Vice-chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said, Robots are one of the new tools being utilized in higher education digital transformation in the developed world and Makerere cannot lag behind.

“Any country which does not embrace the digital era is in serious problems. The future lies with those who embrace technology. It is time for us to wake up if Africa is not to be left behind again”, Nawangwe said adding that:

“Online is the future and as Makerere, we have embraced the future and we shall not be left behind again. We need more so that we can show the rest of the country that we need these innovations,”, The Vice Chancellor asserted.

The launch of the Smart Classroom and the Robot according to Prof. Nawangwe was in line with the university strategy to be research-led and part of the activities to celebrate 100 years of Makerere University’s service to humanity.

“We are going to devise means and ensure that this initiative is extended to university units and the rest of the institutions countrywide,” The professor pledged.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe cuts the tape to launch the Smart Classroom

The Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences Prof. Tonny Oyana said, in 2018, Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences together with Create View Education Technology, UNESCO-ICHEI, and Southern University of Science and Technology, China signed a partnership agreement to collaborate in research, teaching, ICT industry, and community engagement activities.

“As a result of this partnership, the university has received a highly valued donation of Smart Classroom educational equipment. The core three strategic academic Chinese partners are Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China; International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNSECO (ICHEI), Shenzhen; and Guangzhou’s CreateView Educational Technology Co., Ltd.)”

Prof. Tonny Oyana delivering the welcome remarks

 Speaking online, the Assistant Director and Chief of IIOE Management Centre UNESCO-ICHEI Shenzen China, Prof. Lyu Feng pledged more support to the university and Uganda.

We have embarked on capacity building for quality teaching and learning and we have so far launched the smart classrooms in ten countries in Africa and Asia with priority for higher education,” Prof. Lyu Feng said.

The representative of the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) and China’s International Institute of Online Education, who is also the program specialist and project lead of the Smart Classroom System Hassan Adeel Shehzad said, they are trying to make teachers and leaders of Makerere University be familiar with the latest trends and technologies happening in the rest of the world.

“Robot as ICT is a tool to serve the teacher. The robot is going to assist lecturers in their daily teaching for example from classroom attendance to narrating chapters loud and looking for questions and answers back and forth.

As intellectuals, Robot is going to assist teachers not that the robot is going to teach as a teacher in the classroom. These are the latest trends including Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and therefore, Robots complement deep learning and all these are trends to make teachers and students and university leadership catch up with what is happening with the rest of the world”, Adeel stressed.

Hassan Adeel speeaking during the function

Adeel further explained how the Robot will be utilized by instructors at Makerere University.

“As a teacher, when you come into the classroom, the first thing to do is to check classroom attendance. As a repetitive task, this assignment can be delegated to the Robot with components such as sensing cameras and detection instead of the teacher calling out the names of all students present.

Another purpose is that when a teacher has a chapter, he or she wants a student to read aloud, that specific scenario can be given to a Robot. So, a Robot can read the whole chapter in front of the whole class”, He said.

A Robot according to Adeel has a simple interface. The commands can be sent to a Robot through a mobile phone, computer or laptop and it works according to other commands, for example, walk, dance, what day is today, etc.

A Robot, Adeel explained has a wise recognition function, text recognition function, and motion recognition function therefore a teacher can speak and the Robot can answer. It’s programmable and depends on how the teacher wants to use it.

Over 40 Makerere staff undergo induction training on the Smart Classroom

Prior to the launch over 40 university staff across colleges undertook induction training on the use of the Smart Classroom System.

The training was conducted by Makerere University IT experts from the College of Computing and Information Sciences supervised by Hassan Adeel on the 6th and 7th of September 2022. Adeel was at Makerere for two weeks to ensure the last connectivity of the Smart Classroom and also capacitate the technical team at Makerere for sustainability purposes.

Adeel was optimistic that the university was set to embrace digital transformation for quality education.

“In the two days sessions, we saw very passionate attendees coming here to the smart classroom and were very excited knowing that in Makerere we have a Robot that has been watched in videos and movies.

During my stay with the technical team and staff here at Makerere, I feel they have high enthusiasm to use the Robot., they have a passion to learn and I think Makerere university is all set towards the digital transformation of integrating the different trends of technology in the higher education system just as what is happening in the developed world”. Adeel narrated.

In countries like Pakistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Egypt, Nigeria, and Gambia, 11 robots are being used for different simple purposes like attendance recording, reading, checking the temperature, photo taking of the entire classroom, and speaking back and forth.

“On behalf of UNESCO ICHEI, China, and Shenzhen, we would like to convey the message that we are here to assist Uganda and Makerere University in whatever capacity we can. We will be working more closely with Makerere university and other institutions in Uganda so that we can have quality education which is leveraged by ICT and Technical components”, Adeel assured

Nicholas Betungye an ICT expert at Makerere University and one of the teams behind the set up of the smart classroom at the College of Computing and Information Sciences said one of the devices received and assembled is the Robot.

“This robot does Artificial intelligence functionalities for teaching and learning environment such as speech recognition, individual identification, and management of the attendance within the class but it accepts all kinds of programming called coding or configuration.

Still, people who handle robotics technology can utilize it in configuring and programming and is basically used in the management of the classroom teaching and learning environment and it enhances the interest of the learner” Betungye explained.

Makerere staff speak out on the smart classroom training.

“Dr. Leah Sikoyo from the School of Education who attended the induction training of the Smart Classroom said, she was curious to see what the smart classroom can do to support her teaching and learning”.

And I have looked at a lot of possibilities that we can integrate into our blended learning because COVID-19 ushered us into it.  We have been introduced to a number of possibilities but we shall need continuous learning and support to be able to integrate this into our teaching and learning sustainably.

Dr. Sikoyo thanked the donors and university for providing this facility and the CoCIS management for the training adding that there are many possibilities.

“For sustainability, my advice is that individual lecturers should take interest in learning how to use this facility and the only way is to try to do it and get support. But the university has to put in place technical support mechanism because taking up an innovation you need continuous learning and support”, Dr. Sikoyo observed.

Mathew Wangusi from the College of Computing and Information Sciences appreciated the induction training.

“It was very good. I never imagined the smart classroom; I am now seeing the pedagogy as it unfolds.  It was really very motivating and I believe it will be a very nice motivation to the learners and they will love it because this blended learning, we picked interest after the COVID.

We have seen that it is now a reality in that before we did not imagine having a one-to-one interaction but now, we can see that with these new pedagogies coming on board as they unfold and this pedagogy brings it out and it is going to be very key to the learning and inspire many students and teachers to deliver. I love it and I have embraced it wholeheartedly”, Mathew appreciated.

Compiled by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

 

Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (COCIS) has installed the Smart Classroom facility worth over $ 50,000 US dollars. The mini launch and demonstration will be conducted on Friday 9th September 2022.

The facility accommodating 50 computers will be used for recording, broadcasting, and automation in the classroom including monitoring the examination, quizzes, and any other form of assessment.

The establishment of the smart classroom system at Makerere University has been funded by the Chinese taxpayer and education technology companies (the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) and China’s International Institute of Online Education) under the auspices of UNESCO.

The university has provided space and furniture, manpower, local experts, support team and salaries, cabling, electricity, internet, lighting, and security system among others.

Mak-CoCIS IT experts Badru Ssekumba, Baluku Herbert and Nicholas Betungye testing the smart classroom system during the final connectivity

The Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana said, in 2018, Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences together with Create View Education Technology, UNESCO-ICHEI, and Southern University of Science and Technology, China signed a partnership agreement to collaborate in research, teaching, ICT industry, and community engagement activities.

“As a result of this partnership, we received a highly valued donation of Smart Classroom educational equipment. Our core three strategic academic Chinese partners (Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China; International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNSECO (ICHEI), Shenzhen; and Guangzhou’s CreateView Educational Technology Co., Ltd.).” Prof. Oyana explained.

The Smart Classroom facility is going to be the first in the history of Uganda. The representative of the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) and China’s International Institute of Online Education, Hassan Adeel Shehzad stressed that there are computer laboratories, good studios, and touch panels in Uganda’s institutions but the smart room facility at COCIS will integrate all these, combined under one roof.

Hassan Adeel Shehzad is the program specialist and project lead of the Smart Classroom System. Adeel was at Makerere on 1st and 2nd September 2022 to engage the college leadership and staff to implement the Smart Classroom project and also ensure the last connectivity of the smart classroom facility at the CoCIS.

Mak-CoCIS IT experts Nicholas Betungye, Badru Ssekumba and Baluku Herbert on the final touches of the smart classroom

Adeel said, that UNESCO-ICHEI is working with the top Chinese education technology companies based on the UNESCO mandate to promote SDG4 for quality education by integrating the technological advantage within Shenzhen – the world’s leading technology city in China.

Shenzhen city, he said is trying to assist the rest of the countries in the world by matching the UNESCO mission and vision and bringing the city technological advantage, and integrating Chinese higher education massification experience.

He explained that the Smart Classroom is an infrastructure that is a combination of software and capacity-building training aimed at empowering universities not to be worried about the hardware but to help them bring the latest technology entrance to the higher education system through the Smart Classroom in the daily teaching and learning process.

“We are building a recording system for universities so that the teachers can record their lectures alone or the entire classroom lecture of students and the lecturer teaching.

Secondly, we are trying to broadcast the activities being conducted in the classroom to enable students away from campus and other cities and countries to join.  Not only do we record the lectures, but also broadcast live on conference tools such as Zoom, Google meet, and Microsoft teams.

We are also promoting blended learning from the perception of UNESCO Higher education learning intending to promote SDG4 and our call is to assist higher education at institutional, government and policy level”, the expert explained.

in Uganda, Adeel said, the target audience for the UNESCO- ICHEI Smart Classroom project are universities, teachers, and students to improve the quality of teaching and learning.  Once fully established, the rest of the country, including government Ministries, departments, and Agencies will utilize the Smart Classroom for meetings, training, and workshops.

Badru Ssekumba, Hassan Adeel congratulates local expert Baluku Herbert for the job welldone

About the Smart Classroom project

By fully exploiting the potential of ICT, The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of (UNESCO-ICHEI) sets out to support the higher education system, improve ed

ucation quality, and promote equity for education in the developing world. Joined by the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and CreateView UNESCO ICHEI works with Makerere university to collaborative establish the Smart Classroom on its campus.

The project will bring together the Smart Classroom functions to the university education system to facilitate advanced learning and cognition, as well as cooperation and participation. It will also develop cooperative research among teachers and students to enhance the effectiveness of academic activities. The project also aims to enable university teachers, students, and technology to make necessary changes to ICT application activities to provide a solid foundation for ICT-driven higher education innovation. Through the provision of the Smart Classroom facility, UNESCO-ICHEI and CreatView will work closely with Makerere University to encourage the development and integration of online courses into the university’s curriculum to address challenges facing education in Uganda.

Badru Ssekumba ,Hassan Adeel , Nicholas Betungye and Baluku Herbert jubilate after making the last connectivity of the Smart Classroom on 2nd September 2022 at Makerere university

 

SCR SUSTech ICHEI MAK Createview

 

Compiled by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

Makerere University Main Celebration of Mak@100 The Guest of honor for the Grand Finale of our centennial celebrations will be H.E @KagutaMuseveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda. The President will deliver a centennial speech.

Opening its doors to 14 day students in 1922, Makerere University has grown to become one of the most prestigious Universities in Africa.

This celebration marks the end of a century of excellence, and offers a chance to look beyond, and see how to Leveraging the 100 Years of Excellence in Building a Transformed Society”.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe Announces Shs. 1.5 billion RIF to Commercialize Research and Innovations

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on 30th September announced an shs. 1.5Bn from Research and Innovation Fund to market and commercialize University Research.

Prof. Nawangwe was presiding over the Open Day, Public Lecture, and Alumni Dinner organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on the theme,” The Future of Computing and Information Sciences/services”.

The Vice-chancellor said the university was in its new strategic Plan 2020-2030 which emphasizes research and innovation describing CoCIS as one of the colleges making a major contribution to the university and society at large.

“Innovations coming out of CoCIS are raising the flag of Makerere high. The air quality research is one of the few that has featured in international media such as CNN and being utilized in various capitals of the world”. He noted.

Prof. Nawangwe however, observed that despite the quality research being conducted at Makerere, the university has been losing them in unknown circumstances and attributed the loss to the university’s failure to protect her intellectual property.

“We have now strengthened the Intellectual Property Office and I would like to encourage all innovators to take advantage of that.

We have also signed an MoU with the UNDP which is going to assist us to establish the central innovation hub of the university and ordered the equipment for that hub which is going to be in Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility”. He reported.

Nawangwe recognized the existence of a stronger AI hub in CoCIS encouraging the college to link up with the central innovation hub.

He also observed that one of the biggest challenges was the lack of commercialization of the innovations. He said management has worked with the Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) to allocate some funds to help the innovations reach commercialization soon to be launched.

“We are putting aside about 1.5bn shillings for that purpose and I hope that the innovators will take advantage of that.”

He encouraged innovators in the college to take advantage of the funds since it has scalable innovations that can also be commercialized much faster.

The Vice-chancellor also reported that during the   UNNA Conference in San Francisco USA Makerere alumni were all anxious to help and support and encouraged Ugandans to take advantage of business outsourcing.

With improved internet connectivity, Nawangwe implored CoCIS to connect with the companies in need of the services to tap into the enormous benefits that come with it.

He appreciated the college for taking the lead in IT as witnessed in COVID 19 when together with the Institute of Online and Distance Learning Education, the university was able through the support to continue teaching making Makerere one of the few universities in Africa that continued teaching during the pandemic.

CoCIS celebrates novel research and Innovations

The Principal CoCIS Prof. Tonny Oyana reported that the college is involved in a number of research activities. In research, we are very proud of Artificial Intelligence.

Oyana recognized Dr. Joyce Nabende for leading the Artificial Intelligence Lab (AI) and improving the meteorological Data in Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Tanzania.

“This is one of the things we are very proud of and I thank her for the leadership. Among the grants and works that excite students is AI”.

The Principal also hailed Dr. Nsasa for introducing the sensor technology in the monitoring and management of bees and building the prototype smart bee hive in the college lab.

Dr. Julianne Nsasa explaining about the Smart Bee Hive Innovation

“The smart bee hive, and is a collaborative project in Makerere University and I have been working with the entomology unit in CoVAB, the computer engineering department in CEDAT for purposes of helping bee farmers and keepers to keep track of the weight that is what helps them to tell whether it is time to harvest or not, the activities at the door of the bee hive where there is a camera and audio sensor to tell the sound as one of the indicators of the health of the bees,” Dr. Nsasa said.

Dr. Nsansa said bees are very important not just for the honey as they are responsible for pollinating fruits and vegetables yet there is a general decline in the bee population due to many of our human activities.

The other innovation the Principal highlighted was on measuring air quality a project being led by Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha.

Bainomugisha was hailed for attracting one of the biggest grants in the university. I want to thank him personally for making our college great.

“He has done wonderful work and developed a device to measure air quality. The devices are being produced and fabricated here in our college and he has so far deployed 100 of them”, Oyana said.

Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha being recorgonized by Prof. Tonny Oyana.

Prof. Bainomugisha appreciated the college leadership and the university Management for the opportunity given to showcase how to take research beyond the university

“This particular Project on Airqo has a large team working on it. One of the things we do is to manufacture technology to measure air quality and this has been featured on many platforms.

Last week I was at the UN General Assembly and it was one of the highlights of the technologies for climate change being produced in Africa.

We have deployed not only in Uganda and the monitors are being used in Dar Senegal, in Doula Cameroon, and soon will be rolling out to Lagos, Nairobi, and other cities.” Dr. Bainomugisha explained.

He added that this is one of the examples of taking research out of the Ivory tower expressing hope that it can also provide a platform for students to see that the knowledge they are getting in class can be applied to build different projects.

Another Innovation of Adaptive Environment Monitoring Network for East Africa (ADEMNEA) was showcased at Mak-Cocis Open day on 30th September

Prof. Oyana Rallies Alumni to support college activities.

The Principal Prof. Tonny Oyana called upon the Alumni to come together and build a stronger college saying the purpose of the event was to primarily engage in a dialogue and conversation.

“This is a celebration of the accomplishments of CoCIS. CoCIS as a college started in 2010 when you dig deeper, the history is related to the institute of Computer Science in Mathematics. So, we celebrate you our alumni, and thank you for coming.

We ask you to join us in the effort of mobilizing other alumni. This is a conversation that must start and continue. We want to build a greater CoCIS by involving your participation. When you know someone who has passed through CoCIS we are asking to tell them that CoCIS is organizing us to help them build for the future.

The theme is a celebration of the college accomplishment, how far the college has come, and taking stock of our journey and being present in the future that we want. We can influence the future we want that’s why we have involved you in this conversation,” Prof. Oyana appealed.

Prof. Oyana thanked the staff and students for the work done to keep the college relevant

Story by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

 

 

Makerere University College of Computing and Information Technology on 30th September 2022 honored Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba as the father of Computing and Information Communication Technology (COCIS).

Prof. Baryamureeba was honored in his absence during the Open Day, Public Lecture, and Alumni Dinner organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences as part of the celebrations to Mark the 100 years of Makerere University’s Service to humanity under the theme, “The Future of Computing and Information Sciences/services,”

The function was presided over by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the keynote speaker and leading ICT Expert and Consultant DR. FF Tusibira, Mr. Micheal Niyitegeka Program Director Refactory at Clarke International University, and the Principal CoCIS Prof. Tonny Oyana among others.

Prof. Oyana said the college recognized those that served for a long time like the 1st Ph.D. students, those who witnessed CoCIS beginning, worked, and retired adding that without them, they would not be there.

“We are here today because of them. Prof. Baryamureeba is the grandfather of Computing and ICT. We are partly here because of him and we have to honor him. Thank you Prof. Barya for making it happen” Prof. Oyana said.

Baryamureeba was one of the five that the college honored during the ceremony.  Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Kanagwa of the Department of Networks for being an Icon of gaming innovation and Dr. Julianne Nsasa for outstanding research and innovations in the college.

Others were Dr. John Ngubiri one of the long-serving staff who witnessed the college evolve and has served to date and the Security Guard Mr. Wycliffe Tumuryamye who retired recently.

 About Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba

 

Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba

Prof. Baryamureeba is a Professor of Computer Science and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, M.Sc. in Computer Science, Post Graduate Diploma in Analyzing Linear Programming Models, M.Sc. (Mathematics)-Coursework and B.Sc. (Hons) among other qualifications.

He served as Acting Vice-Chancellor from 1st November 2009 to 31st August 2012 and under his leadership, Makerere University restructured its academic programs, instituted financial and administrative reforms, restructured academic and administrative units into a collegiate system, opened two up-country university campuses, improved research output, the improved financial performance of the University, and improved the general image of the University propelling it to 3rd rank in Africa.

Prior to this, Prof. Baryamureeba was Director and later Dean of the Institute of Computer Science and Faculty of Computing and Informatics Technology respectively. He transformed the Institute from a small unit with one academic program, 28 students, and an annual budget of USD15,000 in 2001 into a faculty with 19 academic programs, over 5,000 students, and an annual budget of over USD7Million by September 2005. By the end of his tenure, the Faculty had a budget of over USD10Million; and graduated over 1,000 computing professionals annually.

By:

Jane Anyango,

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS.

Using Computer Vision and Sonification (CVAS system), a group of Makerere university students undertaking a Bachelor of Science in Software engineering has developed a Mobile Application to assist the visually impaired navigate the environment

The student team supervised by Dr. Mary Nsabagwa comprising Sempiira Isaac, Nabunje Diana Lubega, Dali Hillary, and Bakabulindi Marvin was on 30th September 2022 showing casing the technology during the exhibition organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences as part of the activities to mark 100 years of the Makerere University service to Humanity. The college organized the Open Day, Public Lecture, and Alumni Dinner under the theme, “The Future of Computing and Information Sciences”.

Students explaining their Innovation to Dr. Swaibu

CVAS addresses the key design factors which include. cost, cognitive load, intuitiveness of user interfaces, portability, and effectiveness.

The tool makes use of a smartphone, camera, and sonic sensors to embed functionalities of the would-be independent devices. The devices are strategically placed and wearable, freeing the hands of the user from the load of holding the stick with the increased scope of objects that can be detected within 100 centimeters.

The Mobile App has collision and obstacle detection subsystems, vibrates and communicates to the user the obstacle ahead, and gives directions to take. This enables the visually impaired to realize their due unruffled lifestyle and ensures a decrease in the bulkiness of the tool.

The student team leader Dali Hillary explained that the system requires users to have smartphones from android version 6 and above and at least 100MB of storage space to run the CVAS mobile application.

The sonic sensor subsystem and the ESP32 camera require its battery voltage supply to be at a minimum of 3V for effective performance.

During system usage, in case the smartphone battery runs down, the system provides an independent sonic subsystem to continue alerting the user of obstacles through vibrational feedback.

“This Mobile App supports accessibility feature (Talkback), identifies the detected object, describes the detected object, and identifies a clear path. The Sonic subsystem functionalities detect obstacles and calculate the object distance between the user and the obstacle.

 

CVAS System’s cost is a potential competitive cost compared to an average of 2.4Million pricing for existing blind smart tools as per the field study research submitted in the CVAS field study report. The Total CVAS Hardware cost is about shs.200,000,” Dali Hillary the student team leader explained.

Global health estimates that 217 million people with visual impairment and 36 million suffer from blindness. Throughout their life, the visually impaired require a conscious effort to integrate perceptions from their remaining sensory modalities, memories, or even verbal descriptions to enhance their autonomy.

To date, all tools used by the visually impaired barely support all the desired perceptual integration because they constitute functionalities in disproportionate capacity to what is pragmatically required majorly due to limited end-user involvement in developing these tools.

  The proposed position of the ESP32 camera and a 45 degrees downward oriented chest sonic sensor

Using guided interviews, questionnaires, and observation guides the students investigated the challenges faced by the visually impaired in using the existing tools in Uganda. The respondents mainly youths aged between 18 to 29 years were being supported by their families.

The study findings showed that a portable, easy-to-learn, wide-scoped and spanned object detection tool was mostly desired by the respondents.

The team interacted with the visually impaired students at Makerere university ‘s Mitchell Hall and obtained data from the staff at Uganda National Association of the Blind (UNAB), Uganda Society for Disabled Children, Uganda Society for Disabled Children, and Salaama School of the Blind primary school, Mukono.

“We recommend that the government supports the families of the visually impaired so that they get access to support tools and necessary training required by their visually impaired children. We also appeal to all stakeholders for support to help us upgrade and update the technology”, Dali Hillary explained.

He explained that the CVAS system needs to be used continuously without any malfunctions to ensure user safety. This he said, prompted the use of a component-based architectural style that provides enhanced replaceability, reusability, extensibility, encapsulation of components, and independence of components by ensuring their minimal dependencies

Proposed Forehead position of sonic sensors

Proposed Feet position of the sonic sensors

Dali stressed that CVAS’s usage of smartphones, wearables with built-in cameras, and support of computer vision and sonification state-of-the-art, will further be boosted by remote sensors, remote resources, and cloud computing infrastructures.

CVAS system seeks to harness the insights in potentially feasible solutions with the release of its newer versions.

Reported by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS

Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)  Open day, Public lecture, and Alumni dinner have been rescheduled to 30th September due to Mak@100 grand finale activities planned around our earlier scheduled date.

As part of the activities to celebrate the 100 years of Makerere University’s service to humanity, the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is organizing an Open day. Public lecture and Alumni dinner under the theme,

The Future of Computing and Information Sciences/Services“.

We invite you to Come and see CoCIS innovations and technologies for the past 10 years at CoCIS grounds starting 8.30 am to 1.30 pm.

You are also invited to come and hear from the distinguished ICT expert and Keynote Speaker Dr. FF Tusubira on how ICT is transforming the world at the college starting from 2.00 to 4.00 pm.

It is also an opportunity to network with members of the academia, prominent alumni, policymakers, and leaders from technology-related MDAs, the private sector, relevant companies that consume our ICT services, and former college staff among others.

Here is a short form for those interested in showcasing their projects/research. Encourage your Ph.D. students to join this activity.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScH8n7LIGl7lmLaPkeULDo5W2ckA_PA8vpbhy3DLudNUJd2aw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

For details please contact   Dora Bampangana (bdora@cit.ac.ug) or call her  on 0701909833/ 0772621910.

Welcome

Anyango Jane
Principal Communication Officer,CoCIS

A team of Makerere University second year students of B.Sc. Software Engineering have won the first prize for the Huawei African Information and Computer Technology (ICT) competition 2021-2022.

The Huawei ICT competition is an annual international competition and communication platform for university students and higher education institutions within the Huawei ICT Academy program aimed at promoting innovation among African universities and institutions of higher learning. Over 2500 students compete annually

Huawei is a leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices. The awarding ceremony was graced by State Minister for Higher Education Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo at the grand finale event held in South Africa under the theme, “Connection, Glory, Future”.

A team of three Makerere university students codenamed, “KILO-TECH” designed a QuickTest App for blood diagonosis without pricking of blood from the patient, The QuickTest App is An embedded mobile application system to diagnose blood diseases mainly HIV/AIDS and Malaria without pricking the patient.
The team was led by Rutanana Arnold. Others are Nakyanzi Catherine (also Vice President CoCIS) and Nsengiyumva Wiberforce.

The key benefit of the QuickTest App System is to reduce blood disease diagnosis time. It is designed in such way that a patient just logs in the app, place the thumb on the scanner, and get the test results.

Click and play the QuickTest app demo attached

 

Makerere University lead instructor Mr. Daniel Kateregga said Uganda has one of the highest global burdens of malaria cases, with over 90% of the population at risk, malaria remains Uganda’s leading cause of death, especially in children.

Mak Lead instructor Mr. Daniel Kateregga

Kateregga said, being a mobile application, the QuickTest app can be used anywhere in the world as long as the person has a smartphone.
“The new Makerere students technology is life-saving in terms of costs for government they incure in buying kits for the hospitals and also saving costs on the patients side interms of transport going to hospital and also reducing on stigmatization because the patient will be afraid of the doctor or other people knowing their HIV status.

The application is on your phone and you are diagonised using your phone and the data is being uploaded onto the Ministry of Health servers. So the Ministry of Health knows the patients diagnosed of particular diseases and can send support in terms of sensitization and medication”, Mr. Kateregga said.

He observed that Uganda is one the countries spending billions buying HIV and malaria testing kits hence the technology aims at reducing the burden on the budget on such expenses in Uganda and world wide.

UNESCO and government of Uganda according to Kateregga has got information about this technology and expressed interest.

The QuickTest app he said will increase awareness of HIV and Malaria since any time and from anywhere the person does not feel well, they can just do the test.

Since Malaria and HIV tests are always paid for by people, the Mak app will in addition, reduce these costs since it will only require a person to subscribe once a month or yearly and they then do the test any time they want in their places of convenience. This will impact the community economically and health-wise

Students posing for a group photo with Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo after the award

The Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences Prof. Tonny Oyana said, Makerere University’s first victory in Huawei ICT competition was recorded in 2018-2019 when the College emerged winner. Second year students with the assistance of finalists develop proposals and compete locally from the college to national, regional up to the continental level.

The 2021-2022 competitions started in December 2021 coming through different levels where many universities competed and Makerere emerged winner with two teams in the first and second position. Muni university got the 3rd position in Uganda and only one team was to compete for the regional final to represent Uganda. Makerere university’s KILO-TECH team with its new QuickTest technology represented Uganda in the region. It competed and got the 3rd position from the 10 countries that competed in the Innovation track for Africa.

Prof. Tonny Oyana said, since the 2018-2019 competitions, the college has now established a tradition of being the best ICT innovations in Africa – aligned with its core objective to be the best in ICT in the region.

Commenting the South African win, Prof. Oyana said, the college has been fortunate to take the first prize.

Prof. Oyana extended appreciation to the Vice chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the President of the Republic of Uganda for the publicity. Information from the competition in South Africa was got via the duo’s official twitter accounts.

“The college has produced outstanding innovators who are recognized in the continent and beyond. So, we are very fortunate again to take this position and to get the recognition from the Vice chancellor and the President because that gives us prestige but also demands to do more to advance this area of innovations especially providing real solutions that can help in other sectors of Uganda.

So we are extremely excited and privileged to take this honor and even do more. It will inspire young innovators who want to associate with prestige and high quality innovations”,the Principal said.

Prof. Oyana also thanked students and faculty for maintaining the name of the college and keeping Makerere university’s name high and shining.

President Yoweri Museveni and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulate Mak students

President Yoweri Museveni on his official twitter account quoted on several media posts congratulated Makerere students for winning the Huawei ICT competitions for sub-Saharan Africa.

“I congratulate Makerere university students for winning the Huawei ICT competitions for sub-Saharan Africa. I call upon you to use these skills to innovate and create jobs for yourselves and others and wish you luck in the global completion”, The Presidents advised.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in his tweet @ProfNawangwe congratulated the team upon this victory.

“Uganda’s flag rises high again as Makerereans win the @Huawei continental ICT competition, at a grand finale event held in South Africa. I congratulate the team on this great representation”, Prof. Nawangwe wrote.

The university Community has received the news with pride.

“Congratulations to the team. Makerere has the potential to be the leading research university in Africa. The government should give it all the money needed. This will enable it to attract and retain the best researchers.” Prof. Jamil Mujuzi tweeted.

Read more: https://www.newvision.co.ug/articledetails/131358
Compiled by;
Jane Anyango
Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS