Masters students admit to cope with the lockdown by leveraging online technology


Masters students who are in their final period of completion of their program argue that they are still concentrated on their research projects during the lockdown and are sure the lockdown situation will not affect the completion of their program as planned.

The lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 was declared when the first cohort of master’s students from Africa Centers of Excellence were working on their research proposals to end the program. From then, all activities are being carried out from home. Now the use of technology is more likely useful to continue all activities.
With the use of technology, students’ proposals are being reviewed and comments are provided for them to proceed to ensure they move forward as planned.

“I presented my research proposal online and it went well. Members of the panel provided comments and I am now considering them”, said Alfred Ntaganda, a Masters student specializing in Data Mining from African Center of Excellence in Data Science.

The online working model was lagging behind for the first days but as the lockdown time goes on both students and their supervisors are finding it easy to use technology. Gachiri Kago Nanja, a master student from African Center of Excellence for Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Sciences (ACEITLMS) specializing in Mathematics admits that things are moving better.

“Supervisors are supportive. We are using emails and phone calls and I am sure there is no time lost. The problem may arise when it will come to data collection since we cannot collect that from home but we hope by that time, the pandemic will be contained”, he said.

It is planned that the first graduates from UR’s African Centres of Excellence would end by September this year. However, it is evident that this period needs to be a bit extended to ensure that the period that was not fully utilized during the lockdown is recovered.
In a bid to reduce the impact of the lockdown to UR students, UR has introduced and encouraged the use of UR e-learning platform where teaching modules are uploaded and accessed by students from their homes free on charge.

Story by
Jean Damascène NIYITEGEKA
Communication & Marketing Specialist