Using Problem Based Learning (PBL) to Enhance Lifelong Learning among University Graduates.
Africa can benefit from the fourth Industrial Revolution, a forerunner in using smartphones for advanced business and information sharing in an agile way which is the first step of taking advantage of the ‘Internet of Things’. But it will only succeed if this development leaves no-one behind. The education of youth must, therefore, aim at lifelong learning with a focus on problem-solving to empower them to interact actively with societal challenges. Gulu University in northern Uganda was established in a region affected by a 20-year civil war, to promote community transformation and industrialization for sustainable development. The war had left the region with inadequate quality of education and graduates resulting in low graduate employability and resultant poverty. At Gulu University, the DANIDA funded ‘Building Stronger Universities’ project, has established Problem Based Learning (PBL) pedagogy focused on problem identification and solving, creative and critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, teamwork and communication skills, where e-learning through Moodle an open-source learning platform is used to reach employed students who cannot attend normal teaching hours. PBL and Moodle are used as innovative learner-centered, selfdriven and self-sustaining pedagogy and as tools for community engagement promoting youth innovativeness and entrepreneurship. ICT is integrated into teaching and learning to generate new knowledge and skills. This paper describes how the BSU graduate students' training programme has been successful, where they have used their PBL skills in practice by supporting SMEs, schools and community groups to develop entrepreneurial innovation and using ICT tools. The method has been action research with an intervention into real challenges in the community. This approach has resulted in successful business development, job creation, and improved entrepreneurial skills where both the students and the stakeholders have developed and benefited mutually from the PBL approach. //Paper ID 124
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