EASLIS is an acronynm for the East African School of Library and Information Science, while FCIT is Faculty of Computing and Information Technology. Why shouldn't these faculties merge! Here is a slightly edited and blog version of my contribution to an online listserv discussion of "Information Professionals" in Uganda on the future of EASLIS at Makerere University.
A merger with FCIT would suffocate and eventually kill EASLIS. There is too much hype about everything ICTs as evidenced by FCIT'$ ambitiou$ li$t of cour$e$. Please no merger whatsoever between EASLIS and FCIT!
FCIT is for technology, e-data and with a gluttonous appetite for a hands-on-technologies! FCIT's prodcuts are yet to realise full potential in everyday Ugandan businesses! Let them wait and merge with Faculty for Engineering and Technology' particularily the Electrical / Electronic unit. We shall find them there. The hype surrounding the majority of FCIT courses should be allowed to rest here! I have also noted that FCIT graduates hate to handle information, are inadequate in professional information handling and communications and hate documents.
Many FCIT courses ideal to EASLIS professional can be found as international cerifications from Microsoft, Novel / Linux, Macromedia suite, Oracle, CompatiA+ and even CISCO. These are readily available and can be studied in other institutions anywhere not necesarrily at FCIT but even on self pace study! FCIT becomes a poor choice for a merger with EASLIS. EASLIS can do without.
My buy is a School of Information Science and Communication Studies, Makerere University.
Information Science covers up for the information technology shy Library Science. Here, therefore are the premises for which I support a merger with Mass Communication department! An EASLIS graduate will pretend to do what a Mass Communication graduate does and while a Mass Communication graduate assumes to perfom the tasks of an EASLIS professional! We are cousin disciplines to an extent. A merger is ideal.We are processing, producing and communicating products using information technologies primarily for human consumption. I dare add, we would be the ideal synergy of professionals in guiding the nation in the the Information age and the communication revolution. We would complete the Information Literacy training together!
Having studied BLIS at EASLIS (2000-2003), got confused in the midst of the Information era and blundered by studying CCNA at the then Institute of Computer Studies, toyed with the idea of a Msc. Information Systems at FCIT, I finally came to agree that surely Msc. Information Science is better that anything in FCIT for among reasons, its long term strategic skills and its similarities to Mass Communication, Public Relations, and journalism or technical wrting as EASLIS puts it.
EASLIS (/ Mass Communication merger) can however collaborate with FCIT in the areas of Informatics, systems analysis and designs so as to give a meaningful application of Information Technologies for development.
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