On Wednesday 9th April 2014, the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning hosted Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU) lifelong learning thematic group meeting.
The seminar was attended by over twenty participants from different NGOs and Civil Service Organizations and staff from the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning.
The Dean thanked members of SoDLL for their good turn up and for their very active and vibrant participation, which seriously elevated the level of the discussion in this particular meeting.
During this meeting a representative of the Commissioner for Community Development and Literacy briefed the meeting about the approved Uganda National Literacy Policy. Action points were identified and people assigned to follow them up including pursuing the development of the e-learning policy with the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The Discussion of the Commissioner's presentation was very lively as member raised issues concerning; Budget for implementation, implementation strategy, if the policy covers Older Adults attending formal Primary Schools and what does it promise for them, the policy drivers and who are the facilitators of adult literacy programmes. Discussions also included recognition of prior learning, the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and advice on the integration of ICT for non-literate users.
Dr. Julian Bbuye gave a brief presentation about the struggle to develop a National Distance Education Policy which started in 2000 with the formation of a task force under the Ministry of Education and Sport. The task force aimed at producing a report about an Open University in Uganda in addition to developing a National Policy on Distance Education to guide and inform the implementation of Open, Distance and e-learning in Uganda for both local and International providers. Mr Sam Siminyu supplemented Dr. Bbuye's submission. He noted that developments in this line of educational provision is growing exponentially, particularly with OER (Open Educational Resources), Online Learning, and E-Learning
The group also discussed Non-formal educational provision for out of school children ABEK (Karamoja Regions), COPE in (West Nile Region), CHANCE in (Nakasongola, Amuru and Nwoya Districts), BEUPA, and ALP (Western and Central Region). Members expressed worry about the formalization of non-formal education and advised that this special provision should be kept as non-formal as possible. This was a presentation done by Save the Children. They have already presented a programme to Teacher Education Department of Kyambogo University to be approved for training teachers for non-formal basic education in Uganda through the core teacher training colleges.
The other policy matters that came up and were noted were Recognition of Prior Learning RPL in our educational systems, National Qualification Framework. The implementation of the BTVET policy and Act of 2008, including the skilling Uganda Agenda, some of these will be discussed in the next meeting to be held on 25th June 2014 hosted by PPDFR at the Nabageraka Foundation. During this meeting it was agreed that the Director for BTVET will be invited to come and address the participants of this thematic group meeting.
The other Thematic Group Meeting being coordinated by FENU are as follows and member of the College are call upon to join this forum as follows.
1. Access and Quality in Education
2. Gender Parity in Education
3. Early Childhood Care and Development
4. Education in Emergencies
5. Lifelong Learning (the one hosted by SODLL))