The question of whether the method of providing a University Education in Uganda has to change continues to be highly debated for years. Many have argued that the system followed by the University is outdated since they focus more on producing employment creators rather than giving emphasis on teaching theory and making job seekers out of them.
The people questioning the education system in Uganda argue that a University should give students practical skills than theory and that’s how an educational system makes innovations and produce worthy students.
Dr. Lawrence Muganga, the Vice-chancellor of Victoria University through his new book, ‘Authentic University’ wants to let know the world how to change the system followed by University Education in Uganda.
Dr. Muganga, a scholar and digital economy educationist, academic administrator and an award-winning author of the best seller “You Can’t Make Fish Climb Trees” published ‘Authentic University’ this year expecting that it would bring a change in the system.
He is well known for his innovative changes in the field of education. He has advocated for reforming tertiary education in every public venue while working as the vice chancellor of Victoria University.
In his book, Muganga states that Uganda is not trying to bring out the creative young population through education but is just trying to make workers out of them.
“The way we are trained is outdated and faulty. Students with restless minds and bodies far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity are ignored or even stigmatized, with badly aligned examinations, ending up with messy consequences. We are educating people out of their creativity.” he stated.
He also adds that in an increasingly entrepreneurial economy, the world has left Universities behind and won’t wait for them to catch up with its constantly changing information and communication technology. Dr. Muganga suggests using an actual University system of training in order to stay up with the rapidly changing world for higher education.
The book ‘Authentic University’ provides an in-depth overview of all the information that educational providers need to be aware of, as well as planning and implementing strategies, supporting literature, and useful models.
According to him, authentic education is real-world instruction that motivates students to produce something concrete to be shared with the public or their community.
Instead of depending just on classroom instructions, educational institutions must provide a framework that enables students to learn in a real-life environment.
“Through personalized learning, a student is understood and guided on a career path that best suits his or her natural interests and abilities.”
He suggests that the framework includes students getting special interest from tutors, personalized learning, and focuses on their particular skills, potential, preferences, and uniqueness.
In this book, he makes the case that Universities today fail to establish personal connections with each unique student who brings a variety of strengths, interests, skills, and needs.
“Imagine a time when students can eagerly and enthusiastically enter the world of postsecondary education without experiencing existential angst over choosing a major or fearing the limited career opportunities that lie ahead.” the book states.
To automate some of the operations of universities in Uganda like Makerere University, Uganda Christian University, and Victoria University are developing online learning platforms. However, the infrastructure and poor internet quality, along with the high price remind one of the challenges to be faced by students.
According to Dr. Muganga, the feedback received for his book Authentic University’ is so far encouraging. He also added that they have already sold about 20,000 copies of the book so far and it made him realize that the people of Uganda are expecting a change in the system.
Muganga had interacted with Dr. Chrysestom Muyingo, the state minister for Higher Education, regarding the book and promised Muganga to ensure the implementation of the ideas and suggestions in the book. Minister applauded him for the effort and honesty he kept while writing the book.
Muganga’s proposal of authentic learning in Universities sounds great, but currently, nobody knows whether these suggestions and changes come to reality.