By Harriet Asingura and Jamirat Nandawula
As schools gradually reopen mainly to learners in candidate classes, some, have also embraced teaching their students via internet. A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as e-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of e-learning.
E-learning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, and the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times. Earlier, it was not accepted wholeheartedly as it was assumed that this kind of system lacked the human element required in learning.
However, with the rapid progress in technology and the advancement in learning systems, it is now embraced by the masses. The introduction of computers was the basis of this revolution and with the passage of time, as we get hooked to smartphones, tablets, etc, these devices now have an important place in the classrooms for learning. Books are gradually getting replaced by electronic educational material like optical discs or pen drives. Knowledge can also be shared via the Internet, which can be accessible 24/7, anywhere, anytime.
E-learning has proved to be the best means in the corporate sector, especially when training programs are conducted by Multi National Corporations (MNCs) for professionals across the globe; and employees are able to acquire skills while sitting in a board room, or by having seminars, which are conducted for employees of the same or the different organisations under one roof.
Likewise, the schools which use E-learning technologies are a step ahead of those which still have the traditional approach towards learning. No doubt, it is equally important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and lectures, but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored completely. It is believed that the human brain can easily remember and relate to what is seen and heard via moving pictures or videos.
In the past years e-learning was mostly used in different outside countries but Uganda also joined the queue and it started using e-learning in the education sector mostly in higher institutions, secondary schools and some primary schools.
What learners say
Kennedy Nuwarinda, a student at Kyambogo university explained that e- learning is suitable for long distance learners, and can also enable face to face lectures. He further contends that a lecture can be recorded and stored for future reference. “However, e-learning is not favourable to students without smartphones and those in places of poor internet connection,” noted Nuwarinda.
Viola Namuganye a student at Nkumba university points out the ease at which she can catch-up with a missed lecture. She however, recognises the challenges faced by colleagues on how to interface with some electronic and technological gadgets and programs.
Immaculate Nassanga, a student at St. John Paul technical school implored fellow learners to embrace the technological advancement in learning, pointing to the current dynamic times of technology. He however, addressed himself to the challenge of costly data bundles and unstable internet connections in some parts of the country.
What Parents say
Annet Nalukwago said, children are always lazy to study from home, due to much distraction. She also complained of the high charges incurred in purchasing data bundles and yet school fees remain non-reduced. “These children are always attentive while studying face to face lectures but online studying gives them laziness to study,” added Olivia Nakato another parent.
The Nkumba university vice chancellor Prof. Wilson Muyinda Mande justified the e-learning program saying, the world is currently in a dotcom era, to which learners ought to adopt.
Apart from education, various sectors, including agriculture, medicine, services, business, and government among others; are gradually adapting to the concept of e-learning and e-working.
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