UMU to Launch Digital Learning Program


Students of the United Methodist University (UMU) are expected to enhance their academic performance through a digital learning center to be established at the school under the Samuel Morris Scholars program, based on a partnership between the UMU and Innovative Education Liberia (IEL), a release from the UMU has said.
The IEL, according to the release, is a local non-governmental organization (NGO) with its parent company, Innovative Education International, based in the United States. The Samuel Morris Scholars Program aims to bring critical computer technology-based learning to more than 700 schools over a five-year period as well as provide university students with digital learning resources.
In order to make the Samuel Morris Digital Learning Center a reality on the UMU campus, the release said, the representatives of the IEL on June 30 presented 20 laptops with the inscription, “Samuel Morris Scholars Program,” to the Administration of the school as the initial step in introducing technology-based learning experience for students and teachers of the school.
Elijah J. Tarpeh, Country Director of the IEL, who made the presentation, said the aim of the IEL is to help Liberian students excel in their academic pursuits, especially their mathematics skills using computer-based learning resources such as Khan Academy, KA-Lite and Gutenberg book, among others.
“We are very excited about the enthusiasm being displayed by the UMU Administration to embrace this project in Liberia, which will enormously impact the learning of their students,” Mr. Tarpeh said.
The UMU has already identified a space on its Ashmun Street campus for the Samuel Morris Digital Learning Center, which is being refurbished and expected to be opened very soon for the use of students and instructors by next semester.
Mr. Tarpeh noted that UMU is one of two universities in the country that has been identified for the pilot phase of the project, which will later expand to other institutions of higher learning in the country.
The University of Liberia (UL) is the other institution identified to participate in the pilot phase, according to Mr. Tarpeh. Another IEL official present at the presentation ceremony was Gary Friesen, Director of Educational Innovation.
UMU President, Dr. Emmanuel Bailey, who received the laptops, expressed gratitude to the IEL for selecting UMU as its partner in providing digital-based learning experience for students of the school and eventually Liberian students.
“We will use these laptops to empower the powerless through education,” he added.
He assured the IEL officials that the partnership will not only enhance the academic performance of students, but will also be used as an opportunity to spread the Samuel Morris story in Liberia and his life will be exemplified for others to follow.
There ceremony was attended by UMU other officials including Drs. George Weabga, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement; Yatta Young, Dean of the Masters of Theology Program; and Johnson Gwikolo, V.P. for Fiscal Affairs, among others.


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