According to a 2 year Sida-funded research project in the Department of Philosophy and Development Studies, School of Liberal and Performing Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), the shift in societal emphasis of values over virtue knowledge has greatly contributed to the erosion of ethics and integrity in Governance.
Just as was the case in the Western world when organizations took over livelihood roles that were hitherto subject to households, accordingly, the ethical baton shifted from normative ethics to institutionalized ethics. Whereas in the former case a self-catering household was solely responsible for providing their own services, in the latter, government-run corporations had the responsibility to provide and account for services delivered, hence the ethical shift.
This trend was disclosed at an evaluation workshop hosted by Department of Philosophy and Development studies on Friday 21st June 2013 for select staff members and students of Makerere University to share findings on the research project and their implications to sustainable livelihoods. The Project titled Ethics and Integrity in Governance for Sustainable Livelihood was conducted in the four Districts of Gulu, Mbale, Masaka and Mbarara to establish what went wrong and at what point did things go wrong. This, it was hoped, would help to pinpoint the source of the today’s grave moral and ethical decay as constantly covered by the News media.
In opening the workshop, Prof. George Nasinyama, Deputy Director Research, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) commended the Department for delivering their findings within the stipulated project time. He further thanked the Swedish Government through Sida for immensely contributing to building Makerere’s research capacity by training over 250 PhDs since 2001.
Prof. Wamala Edward, the Head, Department of Philosophy and Development Studies in giving an introduction about the research noted that the project was guided by the adage that those who didn’t know their history were bound to repeat it. He decried the rise of anonymity and individualism among today’s generations that has led to the collapse of the Social Capital and provided a fertile breeding ground for Individual Narcissism. “It has become so desperate that ethical behavior is being taught as propositional knowledge, the same way you would teach Calculus [in Mathematics],” lamented Prof. Wamala.
He further noted that the rise of modern lifestyles had slowly and steadily dissolved traditional ethics and as a result the pervading moral impropriety can no longer be seen for what it truly is; either by its perpetrators or society. Taking an example from Buganda, Prof. Wamala further traced this trend even by the shift in traditional proverbs from Ekyalo ddiba lya mbogo: terizingibwa bwomu (Societal roles can best be achieved through mutual cooperation) to Zirindaba olwange: Tawa musibe mmere (I will face my fate individually). He emphasized the need to create a generation of Rational Agents, who in the practice and fulfillment of national and societal duty, will not regard what the future holds for them as individuals, but will do so for the sake of posterity and permanent good.
In presenting a summary of the findings Dr. Lajul Wilfred, the Sida Project Coordinator-Department of Philosophy and Development Studies, noted a few relationships that had been established as a result of the research;
• Where corruption is higher, human living standard is lower and where corruption is lower, human living standard is higher.
• Where ethics and integrity is practiced, the social services rendered to the people are better, and where ethics and integrity is not practiced, social services rendered to the population are poorer
• Ultimately, people are poor not because of lack of resources, but to a greater extent because of mismanagement of resources.
In his presentation on the Integrity and Livelihood aspect, Dr. Kasozi Ferdinald Mutawe, a lead researcher on the project noted that marginalization by gender in the access to land was a major impediment to the promotion of social livelihood. With regard to integrity in institutions, the research discovered that the appointment and recruitment process was marred by corruption in all four regions sampled.
Dr. Kasozi further noted that as societal values were constantly subject to change, there was a need to emphasize the more intransient human virtues in moral education. This was clearly evidenced by the fact that the issues of integrity affecting the Public institutions were the same ones also affecting Private Institutions. As such there is great need strengthen the teaching of curricula to emphasize forms of learning over forms of reading, the latter being used solely for the purposes of passing exams.
In closing the Workshop Assoc. Prof. A.B. Rukooko, the Dean, School of Liberal and Performing Arts, CHUSS commended the Department of Philosophy and Development Studies for coming up with relationships between ethics, integrity and sustainable livelihood that would help inform policy and guide public debate. He urged the research team to expand the discussion on findings to wider audiences so as to generate more interest in the area of ethics and integrity in governance in Uganda. “All of you present here today are potential experts on Ethics and Integrity in Uganda,” said Assoc. Prof. Rukooko. “I urge you to delve further in this debate and publish more papers so as to help the world answer the question, What is wrong with Uganda,” he concluded.
Publications from the Research
Lajul W., “Ethics in Public Administration in Uganda; where is the challenge?” in Public Administration in Uganda: Theory and Practice, LAP Lambert Academic Pubilcation, Saarbruken, Germany, 2012, pp.266-292.
Lajul W., “Impact of African traditional ethics on behavior in Uganda” in Mawazo: The Journal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University, Vol. 10, No. 3 September 2011, pp. 125-139
Lajul W., “Global economic philosophy and challenges to African development” – in Mawazo: The Journal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University, Vol. 10, No. 1 February 2011, pp. 1-9.
Lajul W., “The Right to Fod in Northern Uganda: Realities in Conflict Prone Areas”, in African Journal of Ethics and Human Rights: The Right to Adequate Food, Vol. 2, Law Africa Nairobi, 2010, pp. 335-370
Wamala Edward, “Building an Ethical Public Service for Improved Service” in Philosophia Africana, Vol. 13, No. 2, Fall 2010, Spring 2011
Wamala Edward, “From socialism to Structural Adjustments: African Philosophical Discourses in the Age of Uncertainty” in Philosophia Africana, Vol. 14, No. 2, Dec 2012.
Kasozi F.M., (2011) “Introduction to an African Philosoph – The Ntu’ology of the Baganda”, Verlag Karl Alber, Freiburg, Germany
Papers presented at conferences and seminars
Lajul W., Management of African knowledge system and the future of Africa in the world, presented on World’s Philosophy Day Workshop, 15th November, 2012, Makerere University
Lajul W., African ethics in the emerging new world order, presented during an International Seminar, 20th November, 2012, Makerere University
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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