The Gulu case round table meeting
The round table meeting was held at Bomah Hotel on the 28/11/2019. This was the first round table organised by the VET Africa 4.0 project Gulu case of Gulu University, seeking to explore current and future sustainable possibilities regarding VET that can reduce inequality and enhance sustainability in Africa.
The meeting was graced by 12 stakeholders from various institutions.
The achieved objective of the round table was to map out key stakeholders, their network, interconnections and their influence so as to facilitate the data collection as the project is entering the first round activities of data collection. The event was opened by Professor George Openjuru Ladaah the Co-Principal investigator in the project and the Vice Chancellor of Gulu University.
In his opening remarks he stressed the VET challenges as being a gap between what is happening and what is being funded, and employment not being aligned to skills.He stressed the importance of building a strong and unified VET for the future of the region and the country.
After a brief introduction to the research objectives and the goals of the day by David Ocan, one of the facilitators and researchers in the Gulu case, we embarked on an exercise whereby participants were asked to identify key stakeholders in institutions, curriculum development, employment, accreditation, funding, and policy, in non-formal, formal, and informal settings. The participants wrote down their answers on sticky notes and pasted them in each of the above categories. This led to a rich discussion, over tea, about the various stakeholders, and VET in general.
Building on the initial exercise, David Monk the other co-facilitator, then placed us in groups and asked us to map out how the stakeholders we had identified relate to each other. The maps were remarkably different. This demonstrated the complex and interrelated connections of people engaged in VET. It also provided a map of stakeholders that need to be consulted in this research.
We returned to our research objectives to reflect on the day. Participants were reminded that the research approach is Participatory Action Research (PAR). In PAR, we place a lot of value on working closely with stakeholders and adjusting the course of the research as they provide input. Another key component of PAR is for the process of doing the research to be part of a solution. So, we were reminded that the researchers would come back to the stakeholders to ask for their opinion on the direction of the research as the research progresses.
To close things out just before lunch, we asked participants to give a name and contact for one or two people that they felt we should absolutely interview in relation to the project.
Reflecting on the day, we are generally very happy with the outcome of this initial focus group. We have since followed up with a series of interviews with other key stakeholders. We are looking forward to initial analysis of the data, so as to take it back to our stakeholders in the next round data collection for feedback. It will be interesting to see how this links to the other 3 case studies. This first round of data collection is really oriented towards mapping networks. We turn next to questions of curriculum, decent employment, and sustainability.
Gulu team website training (November, 2019)
Just because it looks like a cinch does not necessarily mean it is. On 12th November 2019, the VET Administrators and the project volunteer had website management training. The training was to equip the team to take over the running of the project website and its other social media platforms.
At first sound the team was excited and looking forward to the training day. However, the day of training things turned out to be pretty tough. The volunteer (who was an ICT student) seemed to be ‘in class’ and grasping everything. The Administrators on the other hand seemed to be in a rocket science class. And this ‘rocket science class’ was being taught by Carla Turner.
The trainer (Carla) really took it one step at a time and tried to use the simplest and easy to understand language as possible. A few of the topics included; running WP core and plug in updates, uploading blog posts, adding images to posts and SEO among others.
Now to a website genius, these topics may sound like a piece of cake but to the rest of us it is not a joke. All in all the training ended well and ‘practice, practice and practice’ is the song of the day. We do look forward to becoming ‘website gurus’ someday. Scovia and Kenneth