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MAK Vice Chancellor tasks graduands to become change agents

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The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu has advised over 500 e-learning students who graduated on Friday 14th July 2017 to become champions of change in their communities.

“This is a golden possession which better positions you to favorably compete for employment or become job creators. You have worked hard and made sacrifices to earn the awards you receive today, you now embark on another phase of your lives as graduates. Use the qualifications acquired to be the champions of change in your respective disciplines,”said Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu in a speech read by the Principal of Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences(CoCIS)-Prof. Constant Okello Obura.L-R Dr. Peter Nabende-Head of Department of Information Systems (CoCIS), Prof. Abhinash Kumar - Director Amity University Directorate of Distance and Online Education, Prof. Constant Okello Obura-Principal CoCIS, Mr Ninshant Singhai- Senior Manager Directorate of Distance and Online Education Amity University and  Assoc. Prof. Agnes Rwashana - Deputy Principal CoCIS

The Vice Chancellor noted that the tele-education programmes at the College of Computing and Information Sciences supported by the Government of India are a direct response to national, regional and international demands to comprehensively expand and strengthen avenues for providing higher education in Uganda and the region. He added that enrollment levels for higher education in Uganda have lagged behind due to the orthodox thinking which confines education to being in the physical presence of a lecturer. According to the Vice Chancellor, the 4th Graduation Ceremony was a great testimony that technology is indeed changing that thinking.

He informed the graduands, parents and invited guests that Makerere University is proud to have successfully carried out online lectures in real time, highlighting that the growing number of students enrolling for such programmes indicated the high demand for higher education and an opportunity to gain more skills necessary for today’s job market. He said that Makerere University continues to improve her teaching, learning and research facilities so as to create the very best environment for the students and staff.

The degrees and diplomas of Amity University and Indira Ghandi National Open University (IGNOU) were awarded premised on an agreement with the Government of India, Telecommunications Consultants India Limited and African Union in association with Makerere University under the Pan African e-Network project.

The Pan African e-Network Project is an initiative of the Indian Government in partnership with African Union to share Indian expertise in the fields of education, information technology and Health care with the African countries in order to accelerate socio-economic development of Africa. This is through providing e-services with priority on Tele-Education, Tele-Medicine and VVIP connectivity (Video conferencing and VoIP).

The Indian High Commissioner to Uganda, H.E Shri Ravi Shankar revealed that over 500 Ugandan students travel to India every year to study at various Universities. With the current trends in technology and e-learning, he said that it is now possible for them to study academic programmes offered in Indian Universities without leaving Uganda.

“With technology today, we can have education across a distance through e-learning. Most universities are embracing this technology. In order to provide education to the young and old people, e-learning will be a great education tool for the future. It is now the way forward,” Mr. Shankar said.

The High Commissioner congratulated the graduands and commended the Government of Uganda and Makerere University for promoting education through e-learning which has started yielding good results. He assured the Makerere University Administration, graduands, parents and invited guests continuous support from the Government of India towards developing the human resource base through the education sector in Uganda.

“Our relationship with Uganda has always been very promising. India is working with Uganda to realize economic development and we have collaborated in a number of areas including investment. We have now focused on human resource development most especially through education sector. The Government of India stands committed to its promise of promoting education in Africa and particularly Uganda and extend education services to a greater number of students mainly through e-learning,” the High Commissioner remarked.

Representing Amity University at the graduation, the Director Amity University Directorate of Distance and Online Education, Prof. Abhinash Kumar informed the graduands that the University was delighted by the excellent performance Ugandan students. He congratulated them upon completing their studies and thanked them for being part of Amity University.

“I am very happy to congratulate and convey greetings to you on behalf of the entire Amity University. We are privileged to have students from African Continent through this e-learning setting. This is a good concept in terms of building education. We are proud to teach and make you convergent to study as you do your best for your country and future. Endeavour to take your candidature to the rest of the world,” Prof. Abhinash Kumar said.

He noted that the e-learning programmes have enabled mature people to take up courses they would not enroll for in the traditional classroom settings full of young students. He said, “This online setting is also helping students who are very mature in age, which indicates that learning never ends and we a proud of that.”

Prof. Constant Okello Obura, Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences remarked that most of the courses offered in the project are outside computing, which is a clear indication that the college is well equipped to support all other programmes provided they are online and there is use of ICT applications. He advised the graduands on the need for professionalism in the different spheres of life.Best performers in Master of Business Administration cohort Ms Enid Katusiime(L), Mr Makubuya Thomas(3rd Right) and Mr Odeke Roberto Onya pose for a photo together with H.E Shri Ravi Shankar

“As you go out, we appeal to you to be professionally assertive and create impact in our communities as you serve. That is when the value of education will be recognized. Use your knowledge to cause positive change in the organizations you will serve, take life systematically and don’t rush,” Prof. Obura advised graduands.

He informed the congregation that when the Pan African e-Network project started in 2009, Makerere University was chosen to serve as the regional center to advance tele-education and technology in the East African Region in order to promote the activities of the project. As a result, the well-equipped E-learning center was set up at the then Faculty of Computing and information Technology, now College of Computing and Information Sciences. He added that the College has put in place strategic directions to partner with different units within Makerere University and outside for knowledge transfer and academic scholarships to significantly contribution to the development of the country.

The Principal thanked the Indian Government, Amity University, IGNOU, the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda, and African Union for availing online education through providing the Pan African E-Learning Network. He also thanked the telecommunication consultancy India Limited for executing the online program on behalf of the Indian Government and the staff at the College who have ensured that the program runs smoothly. Other seniour members of the College present were the Deputy Principal, Assoc. Prof. Agnes Rwashana and Dr. Peter Nabende-Head of Department of Information Systems in the College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Mr. Joseph Mary Ssemwogerere, the E-learning Coordinator at the College of Computing and Information Sciences thanked the Indian Government for sponsoring and funding the Pan African e-Network Project that has made it feasible for a number of African scholars attain affordable higher education.

“The degrees being received today were awarded by Amity University and IGNOU of India. We are very grateful for their collaboration with Makerere University. We thank the Indian Government that funds the project and the support towards education,” Mr. Ssemwogerere said.Mr. Joseph Mary Ssemwogerere, the E-learning Coordinator

Representing the graduands, Mr. Madasi Bosco who graduated with a Masters of Business Administration thanked the Indian Government and Makerere University for enabling them fulfill their dream of attaining higher education at a subsidized cost. He urged his fellow graduands to wisely utilize the knowledge obtained for the betterment of society.

“The essence of having knowledge is to apply it. Today, knowledge is power; it is the access to opportunities and advancement but the power is realized only when you put it into good use,” Mr. Madasi mentioned.

He commended the selfless service offered to them by the Programme Coordinators, Mr. Joseph Mary Ssemwogerere and Mr. Ronald Mwanje and requested that the project is extended so as to benefit a bigger number of Africans, particularly in Uganda.

It was noted that out of the 19 countries currently participating in the Pan African e-Network project, most of the medals that were awarded to the best performing students were received by Ugandan students at Makerere University.

The Pan African e-Network Project started at Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences in July 2009. The University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Amity University, India. Under this memorandum, Makerere University was selected to serve as the Regional Centre to advance Tele-education in the East African region. In May 2010, Makerere University, represented by the School of Computing and IT signed an MOU with IGNOU and the first students to be taken by IGNOU were enrolled in July 2011.

Starting with three (3) pioneer students in 2010, the number of students has grown tremendously over time. A total of 1,493 have graduated since the commencement of the project.

 

Article by: Mak Public Relations Office

 

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Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates

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The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (4th L), DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (5th L) and Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa (3rd L) with L-R: Mr. Byakatonda Patrick, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Mr. Felix Okello, the Mace bearer and Dr. Samuel Majalija at the CoVAB@50 Celebrations Commissioning, 17th June 2021, Nakyesasa-Namulonge.

The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.

In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.

“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.

“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.

She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”

Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”

Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK
Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK

Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”

In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.

The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.

“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.

Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.
Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.

The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”

In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.

She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).

As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”

The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.

Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”

Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.

Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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