The Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology has appreciated the level of research programs at Makerere University and called for increased networking between the University and Parliament.
This came up during a visit to Makerere University by the said committee to monitor, evaluate and assess;
- Research programmes being undertaken by the University,
- The mechanisms the university has established to ensure that research translates into development at all levels,
- The challenges the institution is facing in achieving its research and development objectives and
- The suggested way forward, policy and the role Parliament can play.
The Committee met with the University Management, on this occasion headed by the Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration Professor S.S. Tickodri Togboa, and received background information on research in the University, including achievements and challenges.
Management informed the MPs that whereas a lot of ground has been covered in Research in Makerere University, most of the funding was from development partners. The government was called upon to set a side a research fund that would be competitively accessed, so as to help address topical areas high up on the research agenda of the country.
It was revealed that Uganda as a country lacks a research agenda and has therefore not come in to support the research. Most of the research efforts at Makerere are attributed to individuals who write proposals to development partners and are then able to access funding after competing globally.
At the College of Health Sciences, the team was conducted around some of the facilities used in training health sector personnel by the Deputy Principal, Prof. Celestino Obua. These included the Microbiology Laboratory, the Immunology Laboratory and the Library.
The team learnt that the College lacked funding to be able to secure the infrastructure required to adequately train students. While emphasizing the practical nature of the health-related training the Deputy Principal decried the various inadequacies in terms of equipment like microscopes as well as reagents. Most of the equipment in use has been acquired through a number of development partners. The Deputy Principal called on Government to urgently lend a helping hand, especially in the maintenance of medical equipment which is quite costly.
At the College Library, the committee noted the inadequacies in terms of limited space and computers which have since been addressed by installing internet access points at various locations to enable students utilize their personal computers to access electronic library material.
Prof. Obua also took time off to share with committee some of the research outputs that have resulted into development in terms of policy, practices or products such as Medical Education for Equitable Services to all Ugandans. The research brings together all medical training institutions in Uganda like Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University, Busitema University and Kampala International University, with the aim of strengthening their capacity. The programme aims at ensuring transformative innovative medical education built on strong sustainable systems to produce more health workers of high quality able to address health priorities like HIV and AIDS.
The College’s research on Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis has also made significant contribution through evaluation of various tests to detect resistant TB, with some of the results approved by WHO for use in Uganda and other countries in the world. The College, working with Welcome Trust, a UK charity pioneered the treatment of Drug resistant TB which is very difficult to cure, with over 500 new cases of multi resistant TB cases in occurrence in Uganda every year. In line with this, the National TB Laboratory will be renovated and upgraded to world class level and will in addition to providing training receive and analyse samples from other countries.
Supporting use of research evidence for Policy in African Health systems (SURE) is yet another research initiative that has set up rapid response services, where policy makers call in and get briefs prepared for them on any policy queries on health systems in a short time. This has influenced a number of decisions including the soon to be enacted mandatory food fortification policy.
Research in newborn and maternal health care is yet another area, implemented in Iganga and Mayuge. This has resulted into increase in mothers attending antenatal services, increase in the number of health units deliveries, improvement in new born care practices and more.
The Committee commended the College Management for the groundbreaking research and innovations despite the persistent challenges of tedious procurement processes, intellectual property rights, limited laboratory space and funding for research as well as low staff establishment. The legislators expressed concern over the externally funded research which raises queries on its ownership and sustainability.
Ms. Harriet Musinguzi
Communication Officer, School of Law
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
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.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
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.
”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.
“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.
“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.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
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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