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CGC Successfully Pilots IREX Oral Communications Badge

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Students from Makerere University have successfully completed a pilot of the Oral Communications Badge Challenge thanks to support from the Education Design Lab and International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). The pilot was coordinated by the Counselling and Guidance Centre (CGC) and the Oral Communications Badge Challenge was one the first competency-based skills needed by students to succeed in the workplace introduced by IREX, as part of the umbrella 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge.

Speaking during an interactive session held at the University Guest House on Monday 4th December 2017, the Manager CGC, Mr. Henry Nsubuga thanked IREX for providing the technical expertise and materials needed to pilot the Oral Communications Badge. Twenty two out of twenty six students that participated in the pilot received the badge.

According to the Education Design Lab information kit for partner institutions such as Makerere, badging is a system used to identify and verify individual skills and achievements, and is gaining momentum as a way to certify and display skills that are not taught through traditional courses. Educators are beginning to use badging as a way to map a second track of learning alongside the academic transcript and create micro-credentials that can complement a diploma and capture competency in specific areas.

During the Oral Communications pilot, students were able to acquire skills like; active listening, knowing how to reach your audience, storytelling, elevator pitching and professional communication among others.  “There are several degree awarding institutions out there and our role as CGC with the help of partners like IREX is to find ways of better equipping our students such that they stand out more than their competitors in the market place,” added Mr. Nsubuga.

“We met with some of the students who participated in the pilot and they all shared positive feedback about the course. For example one student of nursing shared how they are now better equipped to talk to patients when out conducting practical sessions. The purpose of this meeting therefore is to find ways of how we can better work with IREX to roll out this project out on a larger scale,” shared Mr. Nsubuga.

The team listens as the Dean of Students-Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe (R) makes his submission during the meeting with IREX's Nina Oduro (2nd L)

“One of the things the students have enjoyed the most is the practical aspect” continued Ms. Nina Oduro, a Leadership Technical Advisor supporting IREX’s leadership programmes.  “They are now seeing a difference in their daily interactions with their peers and Professors. One noted that they could now easily notice when a listener misinterprets what they say thanks to active listening,” she added.

The Dean of Students, Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe by virtue of his designation interacts with student leaders of both academic and cultural associations on a daily basis. He observed that student leaders wield a lot of power to either positively or negatively influence their constituents.

“Misunderstood communication is one of the biggest problems in our daily interactions with students,” said Mr. Kabagambe. “We have a lot to communicate to the students and they too have a lot of issues to communicate to us. However, if we do not package them nicely, we can easily misunderstand each other,” he further explained.

The Dean of Students therefore urged IREX and CGC to consider student leaders of Halls, Hostels, Places of Worship, Colleges and Cultural Associations, who together constitute the Guild Repre-sentative Councilors (GRCs). “I am willing, with guidance from the Counselling and Guidance Centre, to see how this program can be integrated into student activities,” he added.

Whereas IREX provided the original training material, it had to be customised so as to be include examples relevant to the Ugandan situation, and thereafter the trainings had to be conducted. These activities were successfully completed thanks to the efforts of CGC Counsellor-Ms. Rose Nalwanga and Ms. Rita Kyamuhangire, a volunteer at CGC.

Mr. Agaba Issa (L) speaks to Mr. Henry Nsubuga (R) on the way forward after the successful pilot of IREX's Oral Communications Badge at Makerere University

Ms. Kyamuhagire, from her experience, observed that she had met several students with excellent grades who unfortunately were unable to beat their lower scoring peers during interviews, owing to their lack of 21t century competency based skills. These include critical thinking, creative problem solving, Cross-Cultural Competency and others.

“The beauty with this course is that it is mostly interactive. It calls for a lot of storytelling, role play, face to face discussions and presentations in person. We also ask the students to analyse TED talks for the presenters’ oral communication skills or strengths,” said Ms. Kyamuhangire.

She further noted that the course structure is flexible and as a result of constant requests from the students, public speaking was also added as a component. The course was also piloted among students on the MasterCard Scholars Fellowship Program (MCFSP) at Makerere University.

The working relationship between IREX and Makerere University goes back five years to 2012 when in consultation with the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), IREX expanded its University Administration Support Program (UASP) to include university administrators from Makerere.

“Eleven Administrators have attended the 8-week program since its inception,” said Mr. Nsubuga, before adding “many of the partnerships we have built at CGC are as a result of my attendance of the UASP Fellowship in 2015. What remains now is a coming up with measures on how best we can apply what we learn during the fellowship to our setting here.”

Speaking on the way forward, the Brand and Marketing Officer-Mr. Agaba Issa Mugabo urged Mr. Nsubuga to formalize Makerere’s relationship with IREX through a Memorandum of Understanding, so as to clearly spell out activities that will be undertaken thereunder.

Article by Public Relations Office

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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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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