ICT use lag at Ugandan universities

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A new report revealed that universities in Uganda allocate the least amount of money to finance education and training based on information and communication technologies in East Africa. In a study comparing 48 institutions in the region, the E-readiness Survey of East African Universities, 2008 report, released in Kampala on Tuesday shows that universities including Makerere University spend less than Shs24.8 million on every 1,000 students per year to facilitate ICT-enabled learning. The research, which assessed ICT financing as one of the indicators of readiness to implement technology-aided education, was based on 10 universities in Uganda including Kyambogo, Busoga, Gulu, Nkumba, and Uganda Christian University, in addition to responses from 95,550 students.To be competitive, the study suggests that the universities should spend between Shs48 million and Shs70 million ($37,000) per every 1,000 students to purchase Internet bandwidth. The measure of ICT financing in the institutions was based on Internet affordability and the amount of money each university spends on purchasing Internet capacity.

ICT Minister Aggrey Awori (R) addressing participants at Speak Resort Munyonyo during the launch of the e-Readiness and ICT Accession Survey Report of 50 East African Universities. The low expenditure by the universities means that they spend less than one per cent of their annual budgets on buying computers, broadband and associated communication tools, according to Tim Waema, an Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Informatics in the University of Nairobi, one of the study researchers. Despite the general poor ranking, Uganda Christian University stood out as the most committed to ICT financing followed by Makerere University Business School and the Islamic University in Uganda. Universities were urged to increase their ICT financing to three per cent of their annual institutional budgets.

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