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.
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.
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.
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 education 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.