Makerere to produce graduates with ICT skills
The Meteorology Unit at Makerere University in collaboration with the College of Computing and Information Sciences also at Makerere University, through the Weather Information Management for East Africa using suitable ICTs (WIMEA-ICT) Project, is set to introduce a new Masters programme called MSc. Applied Meteorology.
The Principal Investigator of the WIMEA-ICT Project Dr. Julianne Sansa- Otim, who is also the Chair of the Department of Networks, says in addition to developing the MSc. Applied Meteorology programme, two existing programmes namely: BSc. Meteorology and PGD Meteorology were also revised. The revision of these programmes was the key issue discussed during WIMEA- ICT’s benchmarking workshop held in April 2014 at Esella Country Hotel, Kampala. The upgrade of the course was agreed upon by stakeholders from the Uganda National Meteorology Authority (UNMA), National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), The National Meteorological Training School, the National Water Depository together with the Meteorology and Computing experts of Makerere University.
According to Professor CPK Basalirwa of the Meteorology unit, the move aims to refine the Bachelor of Science in Meteorology curriculum and to create a new Masters programme, which will enable students to be relevant in the current times. For the Bachelors programme some of the revised course units include: Research Methods and Computer Applications in Meteorology, Agro- Meteorology, Hydro-Meteorology, Climate Change and Social Economic Implications as well as Communication Skills.
The PGD will run concurrently with the first year of the MSc. Applied Meteorology programme. In the developing of the new MSc. Applied Meteorology, related curricula from leading universities including the University of Bergen were bench marked. The following relevant ICT course units have thus been included: Databases Information Storage and Retrieval, Weather Station Network Management, Decision Support Systems, and Mobile Software Development. According to Thomas Spengler, an Associate Professor at the University of Bergen, the new MSc. Applied Meteorology curriculum is complete, convincing and impressive when compared to similar curricula from other meteorological departments. These new courses will produce meteorology graduates with computing knowledge relevant in our times.