Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Ups and Downs of IT at Makerere

Two recent articles related to IT development at Makerere caught my eye. The first is an upbeat post from Spartakuss on how the vast number of student elections on campus can now be conducted online, saving time and resources:

The room is packed and the tension is high as girls line up to cast their votes for their different candidates. The candidates in turn throng the lines of voters reminding them constantly with little flyers and sweets and candies, more commonly known as “logistics”, to nudge voters to include their names on the list they, the voters, will be ticking. But this is no ordinary election. It is Makerere University’s very first election that is being conducted using the E-Voting System.

The online system that has the aspirants and their pictures entered into the system was built at the Makerere University faculty of Computing and IT (CIT) as part of the National Software Incubation Center’s first batch of projects to be incubated. After being turned out as project, the system has now turned into an application. It has seen its first daylight during the current SCR {senior Common Room} elections at the university and seems to be taking the pressure pretty well. The idea, according to Mr. Benon Jurua, the Chairman, Electoral Commission, was to make voting faster and easier while reducing the long queues that are so often a result.

The second is a worrying story in the Monitor about the continued problem of theft from academic departments, this time a seemingly inside job at the flagship IT faculty:

Police is hunting for thieves who over the Easter weekend entered the Information and Communication Technology faculty at Makerere University and stole computer accessories worth over Shs96 million. The Police say the burglars did not break into the building but smartly found their way in. The robbery is captured in the Police’s Easter weekend crime statistics...

Despite the university deploying a big number of security guards, the campus has become prone to crimes ranging from theft and office break-ins. This is the fourth time computer equipment is stolen at the Makerere University in less than a year. The first incident happened in the Faculty of Arts last year. The crimes forced the Police management to upgrade the university post to a station in order to combat rising crime.

3 comments:

walkonby said...

We take 1 step forward, and then 5 steps back...can't beat the system

King said...

Aaahh Uganda.

We're eternally cursed with the less forward thinking. And to think it was an inside job...

Spartakuss said...

hey Joe, thanks for the mention! and thanks for the little mentions you put up, they mean a lot to a fledgling university.

and yeah its the irony of our times. our doom walks in tandem with our glory.