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Lifelong Learning in Universities: Re-thinking inclusive and equitable quality education

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The Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs of Makerere University, Dr. Ernest Okello-Ogwang has urged PhD Graduates to disseminate research findings to decision makers, communities, media and the wider public. 

“Through research we have been able to discover solutions to community problems. We need to disseminate these findings so that they can benefit society,” emphasized the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs in a speech read by Professor Bernard Bashaasha-Principal of College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Addressing the congregation comprising invited guests, staff, alumni, students and the media during Dr. Peace Buhwamatsiko Tumuheki’s PhD research dissemination seminar on ‘Life-long learning in practice: Understanding and enabling meaningful participation of non-traditional students in University, the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs commended the Presenter of the day (Friday 26th May 2017)- Dr. Tumuheki for undertaking research on lifelong learning; carrying out research aimed at improving the education system in Uganda; and creating a new generation of pure knowledge when higher education has been transformed from the monopoly of the elite to the right of the masses. 

 “You have distinguished yourself as a champion in lifelong learning when you pointed out a topic of great importance in the future of the nation. Life-long learning in practice is a vital topic to this country and yet so little is known about it. Our institutions and nation at large are eager to listen to the latest findings. We should be and we are hungry for knowledge,” he vehemently said.Professor Bernard Bashaasha-Principal of College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The Chair of the Session, Dr. Ronald Bisaso from the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) underscored the importance of sharing knowledge and research findings for the betterment of society. Dr. Bisaso welcomed Dr. Peace B. Tumuheki who holds a PhD in Lifelong Learning from the University of Groningen, a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies in Hague, Netherlands and a Bachelor of Arts with Education degree from Makerere University to make a presentation.

Dr. Tumuheki informed the audience that the main argument of her study is that opening/increasing access alone is not good enough an effort in achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Rather, it is important that in this day and age when higher education has been transformed from the monopoly of the elite to the right of the masses, higher education institutions such as universities must rethink both the way they serve the changed/diverse student populations and their position and purpose in development, as well as in relation to other forms of education.

She highlighted that since the liberalisation of higher education in Uganda in the early 1990s, a lot of changes have taken place in the organisation and provision of university education. The changes are not only seen in the diversification of providers and programmes of study but also in the nature of the students’ body for example in numbers, composition and needs of students.

Dr. Tumuheki’s research findings dwelled on understanding the experiences and participation needs of Non-Traditional Students and to contribute towards enabling their meaningful participation in university education. It was focused on the participation question and needs of students who, prior to liberalization of education, had been excluded (diploma holders) and underrepresented (mature age) in University education.

“For Non-Traditional Students to experience meaningful participation in university education, Universities must take into consideration the changing needs of their students’ population. Universities have  to  recognize  and  appreciate  the  fact  that  when  they  opened  their  doors  to  'a  new  public'  like  their  student  populations,  they  acquired  a  new identity,” Dr. Tumuheki said.

Speaking on status of the higher education system in Uganda, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Gulu University Prof. George Openjuru, called for the restructuring and development of university policies to benefit all categories of students. According to Prof. Openjuru, the higher education system in Uganda is becoming more diversified hence a need to reform its structure.  

He appreciated the work of Dr. Peace Tumuheki that is addressing the challenges that have for a number of years affected the education system of Uganda. Prof. Openjuru believes that understanding and enabling meaningful participation of non-traditional students in higher institutions would help in bridging the knowledge-distance learning gap.

Reiterating the importance of the research, Dr. Tumuheki’s 1st Supervisor on the PhD Programme, Prof. Jacques Zeelen from the University of Groningen, Netherlands said that the research addressed the major challenges facing the education system in Uganda.

 “When we look at globalization today, there is acceleration of technology and digital development and we need to work towards transformation to a sustainable society. There are more demands that we should be equipped with skills to use the latest technologies, many of which are outside the education training. Uganda’s education is a preparatory and keeps learners in schools, and then sets them out to the labour market for the rest of their lives.” Prof. Zeelen said.Dr. Anthony Mugagga Muwagga (L) and Dr. Ronald Bisaso(R) from the College of Education and External Studies (CEES)

The Deputy Principal-College of Education and External Studies (CEES) Dr. Anthony Mugagga Muwagga, said that the higher education system needs to be redefined to suit the basic requirements of the economy and to produce graduates who are employable.

“Having centered on lifelong learning, there are so many other issues to be addressed. We need to expand the horizon for our PhD students. Higher education is a complex system and there is need to redefine the role of Universities in education.” Dr. Mugagga Muwagga mentioned.

Contributing to the discussion, Dr. Alex Okot from the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning mentioned that the current education system in Uganda only prepares learners for passing exams, which may leave them with no practical skills. He added that the products of our education need to be equipped with marketable skills to become employable. He appealed to higher institutions of learning to review policies to improve the life of non-traditional students.The audience including part of Dr Tumuheki's family

“The structure of our education system is discriminative. We have to restructure our policy to be able to sustain our needs. We need to change our postulates about the non-traditional students and we can achieve a millennium development goal. Lifelong learning is not about education institutions, but learning,” Dr. Okot mentioned.

Prior to undertaking her PhD study, she had accumulated 13 years of work experience in the students’ Registry at Makerere University.  Since 2005 she served for six years as Faculty Registrar at the School of Computing and Informatics Technology-Makerere University and then for two years as College Registrar at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology-Makerere University.  She also taught part-time on the Bachelor of Development Studies programme in the Faculty of Arts.  It is from the amalgamation of these experiences that she derived the interest to research into the lifelong learning opportunities of non-traditional students participating in university education. 

Story by: Charles Iga, Volunteer,MAK Public Relations Office

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise

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One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.

IMPORTANT:

(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH

Acting. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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