A two day Google Apps Supporting Program (GASP) VC and CIO summit which was held at the Protea hotel in Kampala on June 10 and 11, 2013 targeting both senior University management and ICT managers in Uganda has ended. The summit organized by Google Uganda aimed at providing a platform for institutions to acquire information on what the GASP program is about and how it can benefit them.
GASP which aims at showcasing the work that Google is doing on the ground with existing universities focuses on infrastructure support and integration of program processes. According to Elijah Kitaka the
company’s program manager for East and South Africa outreach, Universities in Uganda can benefit from a program which offers a free set of customizable tools that enable their faculties, staff and students to work together and learn more effectively through the provision of Google Apps for education.
“Google is working to facilitate a vibrant and sustainable internet ecosystem in which GASP is a key component.GASP seeks to reduce internet access barriers, improve communication and collaboration for thousands of University and institution staff and students, thus enhancing teaching, learning and research through the use of Google tools and technologies like Gmail, calendar and docs,” said Kitaka.
He said Apps for education like drive and groups help learners to create and share online documents, presentations and spread sheets as well as create mailing lists and online discussion groups making the
learning process easier. The GASP lead for Sub Saharan Africa John Wesonga who also spoke at the summit highlighted the benefits of the program, saying that it is an initiative designed to catalyse internet usage and adoption of Google Apps in the education systems of Sub Sahara Africa Universities.
“Google is working with Universities and other institutions across emerging markets to achieve the goal of Google Apps for education and we will support the institutions through deployment of the program to
strengthen existing ICT services, technical consulting and training,” Wesonga said.
GASP through its annual grants has already helped institutions like Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)in Kenya and University of Ibadan in Nigeria invest in internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure to enhance access to learning resources. In Uganda it is working with the Makerere University Business School (MUBS) among others.
Through this platform, the Universities have also managed to transform communication across their staff and student population and streamline distance learning.The summit brought together over 20 public
and private Universities and institutions in the region
source: THE CEO