Every crisis presents new challenges and offers new opportunities for innovation but we need to face the facts: all of the world’s sectors are going digital and Uganda is also heading down the digital path and the COVID-19 Pandemic has presented the first real test of adopting e-learning systems at different levels of education across the nation.
This raises questions that we all need to address:
What we’re experiencing in this shift is the inevitable and it is time to embrace the use of technology to engage our students in new ways. Technology has advanced and their various platforms like video conferencing and other e-learning resources on the market.
What was once an escape—has now become an essential learning tool. In this way, YMCA Comprehensive Institute has taken her first big step in embracing digitalization and explored an alternative and easy self-enrollment E-system – elearning.yci.ac.ug to be able to connect to our students in new and innovative ways.
We cannot ignore the fact that attention has to be given to the gap in accessibility to technology and Internet connectivity in some of our students’ homes but together with the government, education stakeholders and parents / guardians we have to rise to the challenge and put in place measures to close this digital gap, permanently so that the resources and tools available for school systems can be available to every student.
In this way, the urgency for DIGITAL EQUITY should be addressed as soon as possible by the Government and related stakeholders so as students can access learning resources in an easier and less expensive way. Regardless of economic status, students can check out a device to access content at school, or at home.
The YMCA Comprehensive Elearning platform is designed to cater for an Asynchronous Learning and a flipped classroom model that supports self-paced learning and allows for deeper discussion and learning respectively. In fact, Lecturers can answer more questions while sustaining and encouraging curiosity. As a by-product, students become task-oriented and learn to identify and manage their own goals.
This calls for a change in our mindsets, so that we can start this journey together as we evolve with the technology and the “new normal”. Undoubtedly, there is still a lot to be addressed given the practicability nature of our courses but every journey of one thousand steps always starts with the first step.
Bringing the classroom into the homes of our students is strangely intimate. However, this sends a strong message to our students that we deeply care about them. That despite the considerable barriers, we will continue to be a champion for them and their learning.
“seek knowledge from cradle to grave”
Opendi Variriano Osuna
Marketing and Public Relations Officer
YMCA COMPREHENSIVE INSTITUTE