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LIS Academic Debate underlines importance of information

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“The problem is not Museveni. People have misconstrued the problems of Uganda to a mere individual. This is due to lack of information.” Kahinda Otafiire expressed.

“The problem is not Museveni. People have misconstrued the problems of Uganda to a mere individual. This is due to lack of information.” Kahinda Otafiire expressed.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry together with Prof. J.R. Ikoja Odongo the Director Institute of Psychology and Mr. Aaron Mukwaya a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education were the panelists at the Academic Debate on 7th April 2010. The session was chaired by Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya.

The East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), organized the Library and Information Science Education Week, with one of the activities being an Academic Debate with a topic on “Information as a resource for Democracy and good Governance”.

The gathering of students, staff and well wishers in the EASLIS hall could not have had a better way of spending their Wednesday afternoon than listening to the three panelists, who voiced their concerns and ideas on Information – a topic that many easily sweep under the carpet.

Information is of key importance. It is what the businessman in Kikuubo will rely on to make profits. In governance it is what leaders rely on as a strategic resource in making informed decisions. Information cannot be ignored because it is the focal point on which humanity exists and is able to realize development.

Prof. Ikoja Odongo at the LIS Debate Starting off the debate was Prof. Ikoja who passionately highlighted that without information we are bound to backwardness and are prone to make fundamental mistakes. Information is a resource not just for the educated, but also for the uneducated and illiterate.

He applauded the government that has put up various entities to give people information such as public universities, public libraries and also through statutes like the National Records Act, the Information Act and the Electronic Media Act. These have allowed for the public to acquire and disseminate information freely. Government also transfers information through local council representatives and parliamentarians and also available in various ministries.

Prof. Ikoja however expressed concern on government’s inadequacy to provide information countrywide. He highlighted that there were only twenty public libraries countrywide, leaving over seventy districts without public libraries. “The scope of librarianship also needs to change by introducing indigenous knowledge and the internet. Government should avail sub county chiefs ICT services” he added

Dr. Aaron Mukwaya stresses the essence of informationHowever, Dr. Aaron Mukwaya had a different take on the issue. “Information is not a resource, it is the core! It is the theme! Information does not thrive only in the human world, but in the entire world and its existence” emphasized Dr. Mukwaya. He further said that information collected over a period of time turns into knowledge, values, and cultures among other things.

Dr. Mukwaya aired that many a time, westernized information is vigorously fighting the values of our continent Africa. Case in point; issues debated in the Ugandan parliament such as polygamy and homosexuality are destroying African cultures.

As democracy is a process that is continuously giving people the power, there is need for constant supply of information. Government is the custodian of the people so the onus is upon them to provide the public with information.

Hon. Kahinda Otafiire opened his segment by appreciating that there can be information without democracy but there cannot be democracy without information. “Information is a recollection of incidents that determine interpretation of phenomenon.” Otafiire defined. Information therefore is important for organization and interpreting phenomenon.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Trade and MP Ruhinda CountyHon. Otafiire expressed that democracy in many African countries is a parasitical relationship that people do not challenge because they are uninformed. “We are enslaved in a culture of politicians telling lies. This has led to the people making wrong decisions endangering democracy.” Otafiire explained. Therefore, there cannot be democracy without information because it is from informed decisions that democracy is achieved.

As a representative of the government at the gathering, Hon. Otafiire was glad to say that the government has played a significant role in availing information to the public for it has seconded electronic media hence the many radio stations in the country, it has given freedom of expression to the citizenry and promoted press. However, he pointed out that as a government, it has the right to regulate how information is processed and in cases where mismanagement of information has been cited, the government has taken it upon itself to put in place measures to keep peace in the country, for example the closing of CBS FM.

To manage and lead people, one must be informed. It is through information that political prejudices are broken hence improving the quality of politics in a country that is thirsty for democracy to prevail. Citing examples from his Ruhinda County constituency, the charismatic Member of Parliament enthused that it was through telling his electorates the truth that he empowered them “So good leaders tell their people the truth!”

 

Panelists pause for a group photo after the debate

The Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Career Week continues with the LIS Symposium on 9th April 2010 from 9:00 to 5:00pm. The theme for the symposium is R-alignment of LIS Education to meet the emerging information management challenges in the Knowledge Society.

Powerpoint presentation of the day. 

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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution

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Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative

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By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23

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Mak-Undergraduate-Admissions-2021-2022

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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