Kampala, Uganda — The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has cleared Victoria University to start online teaching.
Victoria University’s (VU) approval follows a request to the NCHE on May 22, 2020 seeking permission to roll out an emergency Open Distance and E-learning system during the current lockdown.
“I am pleased to inform you that after due consideration, the National Council for Higher Education has granted you permission to roll-out emergency ODel for the attached programmes,” read a letter from the NCHE Executive Director, Prof. Okwakol.
The permit granted to VU is for a period of 12 months or the duration of the Covid-19 crisis schools’ lockdown, whichever comes first.
“You may apply for a renewal of the permission at least two months before the expiry of the 12 months’ period, if necessary,” Okwakol’s letter dated Monday, August 31 added.
Victoria University, ISBAT University, Cavendish and the Law Development Centre were the first to be cleared (by mid-last month).
Africa Tembelea understands that there are 21 other universities in queue awaiting clearance from the NCHE. The NCHE permit means that students will not have to suffer a dead year and their academic journey can continue on schedule, albeit online.
– Lockdown –
During the countrywide lockdown to avert the spread of Covid-19, all education institutions and other business enterprises like hotels, public transport among other entities were closed in March.
While addressing the Media, Victoria University Acting Vice Chancellor Bill Nkeeto said the lockdown put students and their parents at stake wondering how to go about their education while at home.
Through phased approach with standard operating procedures (guidelines), public transport, Arcades and other business enterprises have been opened with exception of education institutions, places of worship, bars and entry border points.
However, a ray of hope was shone to the education sector when Uganda’s President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently okayed the opening of institutions starting with final year students undertaking health related courses.
Nkeeto revealed that Victoria University was ready to start conducting online classes for its students with expected start date set for September 28, 2020.