Connect with us

General

MAK Vice Chancellor tasks graduands to become change agents

Published

on

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

 

Continue Reading

General

Rotary International President visits Mak

Published

on

The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

Read more

Continue Reading

General

Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

Published

on

The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

Continue Reading

General

Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

Published

on

The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

Continue Reading

Trending