Makerere University students could be among the first graduates to earn a degree under an Outcomes Based Education (OBE) curriculum. School of Distance and Lifelong Learning (SoDLL) in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK has developed an employability and entrepreneurship skills development program for school leavers as part of the Education Partnerships in Africa Project (EPA). The project is funded by the British Council and aims to build the capacity of African Institutions of Higher Education in delivering employability and entrepreneurship skills in collaboration with local employers.
The current Higher Education system based on simple knowledge transfer and limited skills development has so far failed to provide skilled employees in Uganda. A Higher Education reform to an OBE system would place special emphasis on learning outcomes and skills development to best meet student’s needs for employment. Pilot trainings of out of school leavers have been conducted in three regional centers of Makerere University including Arua, Entebbe and Fort Portal.
The feedback from the monitoring visits has led to the development and trailing of a curriculum and course materials for Employability and Entrepreneurship. Other project achievements so far have included: A workshop to mobilise and sensitize stakeholders on issues of quality assurance, outcomes based education system, credit accumulation and transfer system and the need for and a national qualifications frame work for Uganda was successfully organised in August 2010 at Fair Way Hotel. 7 SoDLL members have been trained to design and deliver Employability and Entrepreneurship skills curriculum and programme 28 members of staff in regional Centres received training on learner-centre methods of delivering employability and entrepreneurship courses in the regional centres The project has been extended to assist
1) Makerere develop a modern OBE based curriculum as foundation for becoming a student centred institution in the region. The project will liaise with all stakeholders to embed this reform as a national curriculum model for Uganda’s Higher Education.
2)To help Makerere develop and implement evidenced based, self-evaluation processes for quality assurance within ‘fitness-for-purpose’ criteria;
3) and liaise with all stakeholders to embed this reform as a national curriculum model for Uganda’s Higher Education, assist stakeholders in making progress towards developing a Uganda Qualifications Framework; and work with donors to encourage their support for this invaluable Higher Education reform In its final stages, the project will enable selected staff of Makerere receive training in OBE focused curriculum and programme design, form a team to design a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) and train other members of the academic staff in the use of OBE oriented methods to deliver programmes at the University. The OBE focused reform will promote skills development in all faculties of Uganda Higher Education Institutions and orient Uganda’s Higher Education standards to international standards.