Makerere University’s College of Computing and Information Sciences scooped the overall Academy Curriculum Excellence award (CCNP) at the recently concluded Cisco Academy Conference, held in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.
The college competed against 140 Cisco academies from different African countries like Rwanda, Malawi, Eritrea, Burundi and South Sudan. According to Drake Mirembe, the acting head of the Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), the award was in recognition of the college’s continued commitment to excellence in delivery of the Cisco training programmes in the region.
“The college’s good leadership which encourages capacity building through training tutors and other academies within and out of the country made the college’s efforts outstanding,” Mirembe says.
The evaluation conducted by the Cisco Regional Academy to gauge the quality of services offered by the different academies focused on several parameters like: the number of professional development events conducted by an academy, number of development programmes conducted for the staff, equipment available, pass rate of an academy’s students and their rate of feedback, among others.
Mirembe says this award has made the college a benchmark of quality training across Africa. However, there are challenges that need to be solved.
“At the national level, most academies are not considering the moral aspect of reinvesting in their staff and this leaves many of them underpaid,” he says.
In addition, unreliable internet bogs down students and staffs’ work. The college also received two other recognitions - the Academy Learning Opportunity and CCNA Discovery Curriculum Excellence awards.
The college hosts one of the two regional academy support centres in East Africa. The other is in Kenya and together, the two centres offer support to 140 Cisco academies within the East African region and beyond.