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GPF Uganda Hosts Education Symposium to Advance Government and Home-based Solutions to Pandemic School Lockdown

Education experts urged the Uganda government to adopt advanced technology to counter the challenges faced by the education sector during the COVID-19 lockdown at a virtual National Development Symposium organized by Global Foundation Uganda and Makerere University Business School in Kampala on June 9, 2021.

 “If we are to improve the country’s education, there is need for a comprehensive review of the system, aligning it to the technological changes across the globe,” keynote speaker Prof. Waswa Balunywa told the symposium. Prof. Balunywa, the Principal of Makerere University Business School, said the country’s education sector has been greatly impacted by the pandemic and called for “a paradigm shift” in planning for the sector.

“Higher education should reflect the theoretical perspectives of the future, primarily the innovations that may come, reflect the need for creativity and innovation in the key sectors of the economy, and establish technological universities to translate ideas into products,” Balunywa said. He advised that primary education should involve elementary technological skills while secondary education should provide more technical and vocational education.

Global Peace Foundation Vice President for Education Dr. Tony Devine called for teachers and parents to be empowered to become great innovators and adapt to current changes in technology. “Parents and teachers are the strongest influence to students,” Devine said; “they should help them build the will and ability to positively influence their own lives.” 

The event comes at a critical time when the country’s education sector is facing unprecedented challenges following the recent shutdown of all education institutions to curb the spread of the virus.  

Global Peace Foundation Uganda Country Director Milton Kambula
addresses the education symposium.

Dr.Maggie Kigozi, patron for the Global Peace Women Uganda, called on parents to offer the necessary help, support and security to the children who have been returned home. Global Peace Foundation Uganda country director Milton Kambula said stakeholders needed to explore “innovative ways of how parents must become the teachers so that the students can go on and implement what they learned in business, agriculture and innovation.”

The main objective of the symposium, Kambula said, was to launch a joint response and commitment to transform education and the economy, as well as strengthen a culture of peace, service, and moral and innovative leadership for social-economic development. 

Other speakers at the symposium included Babaluku, the founder of the Bavubuka Foundation which advances youth involvement in shaping the country’s education agenda; and Martin Obore Okiria, the national chairman for the Association of Secondary School head teachers of Uganda.

This report is from combined news from the Kampala Post and the Nile Post. Learn more about GPF Uganda peacebuilding and education initiatives.