The Vice Chancellor Prof. John Akec and Director of Centre for Distance Education, Dr. Gai Turbil Yat, paid a visit to Tanzania between 23rd and 27th November 2015. The visit was to activate an MOU signed between the two universities in August 2015. A team of two staff of OUT comprising Deputy Vice Chancellor for Planning and Director for ICT and Learning Technologies visited Juba in February 2015. During their visit, it was agreed to launch joint open and distance education programmes between the University of Juba and Open University of Tanzania. The curriculum and content will be based on one developed by OUT, while the University of Juba will deliver and administer the programmes in South Sudan. The graduates will get joint degree bearing emblems of both University of Juba and OUT. During the November visit, the Vice Chancellor and the Director of the Centre for Distance Education were able to gain exposure to learning facilities and systems on which OUT bases its offering. A service level agreement was signed by Professor John Apuruot Akec (VC, UoJ), and Professor Elifas Tozo Basinda (VC, OUT). An action plan was also agreed and signed. Amongst immediate plans of action agreed will be the readmission of current 215 registered students at UoJ into joint degree programmes by February 2016. The joint degree programme will launched in Juba around June 2016 at the latest. Between now and June, the two institutions will identify joint programmes including postgraduate progarmmes and there will be exchange of visits to understand each others’ institutional arrangements and systems. It was also agreed that OUT will assist UoJ set up Management Information System for administrative and academic purposes. The two institutions will also apply for joint research grants to strengthen primary and lower secondary teacher education.
The join degree with OUT will enable University of Juba to widen access to quality open distance education to wider sectors of communities in South Sudan, and it will enable OUT to even reach out to more audiences in Eastern and Central Africa region. It will be a win-win to both institutions.
It is to be noted that Open University of Tanzania is a leading provider of open and distance education. It was established in 1992 and over the last 23 years, has developed an edge in using ICT to deliver content to diverse distance learners and increasing efficiency and security of setting up examination and processing examination results. OUT operates more than twenty centres in Tanzania and has centres and partnerships in Kenya, Uganda, DCR, Rwanda, and Namibia.
Front row (left to right): Prof. Cornelia Muganda (DVC-Academic, OUT), Prof. Elifas Tozo Bisanda (VC – OUT), Prof. John Apuruot Akec (VC, UoJ), Dr. Gai Thurbil Yat (Director, CED, UoJ).
Dr. Yat listening to OUT Staff at OUT ICT Lab
Vice Chancellor, JA shakes hands with a blind ICT Professor at OUT. The ICT professor was a material engineering graduate who became blind in midlife but trained to learn and teach and do research in ICT and trained other blind students to learn and use ICT at a special need centres for blind and deaf students at OUT.