Mixed Reactions as KIU Re-introduces Modular Programme
At the end of the December 2016 semester, Kampala International University (KIU) re-introduced the modular programme. This was contained in a circular authored by the Director of Academic Affairs to all students. Many students needed more explanation in order to understand how the programme worked.
On January 9th 2017, the new semester began but many students were not yet back in class for almost a week. The students who were back from the holiday by then had to task their lecturers to explain to them the operation of the Modular programme, now that they had to attend classes every day for a month, including sitting for CATs and the final examination for the two-course units.
In the December 14 circular, a copy of which The KIU Giraffe Times has obtained, students were reminded to pay 25% fees so as to sit for CATS and 50% fees so as to sit for Modular exams.
KIU last had a modular programme in 2014. Students who joined KIU between 2015 and 2016 did not know about how this programme worked.
Unknown to the students why KIU re-introduced this programme after relaxing it for two academic years, Dr. Amal Kinene, the Director of Quality Assurance, said the major reason why KIU re-introduced Modular programme was to enable students report early for the new semester.
“Modular programme forces students to report on time. Usually, students report late for new semesters,” adding that: “Without the Modular programme, students even report after a month.”
Asked why the university did not sensitize the students about the Modular programme, Dr. Kinene blamed the Colleges for not doing the sensitization at the college levels. “As management, we pass policies and these policies should reach the students through the Colleges and Departments.” She also added that: “The Colleges are to blame for poor sensitization of Modular programme.”
Ms Vanessa Comfort Ndagire, the Guild President, was happy with the re-introduction of the modular programme. “The programme worked. Students were able to come back early,” she said. However, Ms Ndagire also blamed the modular programme for inconveniencing the students, citing economic constraint as the reason.
Mr Maxwell Kyamanywa, a second-year student of Business Administration said Modular programmes put students on pressure. “They put us under thepressure of paying fees. You know this is ‘January,’ a month where money is scarce,” he said.
On the plus side, he welcomed Modular programme for keeping them busy. He said: “We could come back only to sleep, booze, and keep around. But this time, we were focused and were able to concentrate.”
According to Ms. Kevin Nanyonga, a second-year student of Education, the re-introduction of Modular has helped students report earlier than expected. Ms Nanyonga also said: “This programme has reduced the number of course units to study in the remaining part of the semester. Instead of studying all the seven-course units at the same time, I have done two, and I have five-course units remaining.”
However, Mr John Bosco Bembe, a third-year student of Mass Communication said that although the Modular programme has forced students to come back early for the new semester, he does not see how the programme helps the students. Mr. Dembe said: “This programme is so compact that some students, especially slow learners, cannot read and understand the course concepts just within a month.”
Not all courses are run on the Modular programme. Some courses that require more than three credit hours per week such as Law, Medicine, and Engineering are not run on the Modular programme.
Asked whether the Modular programme will not collapse again, Dr Kinene assured The KIU Giraffe Times that Modular programme is back to stay.