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AR Department Refresher Seminar Builds Teamwork and Social Cohesion for Improved Service Delivery

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Members of Staff from the Department of the Academic Registrar (AR) at Makerere University have been urged to build strong teamwork with social cohesion in order to improve on service delivery. This was at the Departmental Refresher Seminar held on 14th and 15th March 2019 at Hotel Africana; to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of roles and responsibilities as well as aligning the Department to suit the Collegiate system.

The two-day Seminar was officially opened by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba under the theme: Institutional Cohesion and team work for improved service delivery.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba addressing participants at Hotel Africana.

According to the Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions and Records Division) Mr. Charles Ssentongo, the Seminar was geared towards helping staff appreciate the theme through;

  •  Harmonizing Departmental operations under the Collegiate system
  •  Enhancing the working relationship between Departmental staff and other members of staff (Academic, Administrative and Support) in the university
  • Re-orienting staff who were appointed to act as College Registrars into the roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Academic Registrar

Dr. Umar Kakumba applauded the leadership of the Academic Registrar’s Department for the thoughtful decision to bring the team together to discuss and reflect on their Unit specific and departmental responsibilities as well as their allegiance to the university.

Participants posing for a group photo with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba

Re-echoing the seminar theme, Dr. Kakumba said that team building and social cohesion are important factors in driving the institution’s goal and objectives. “As a scholar of organizational behavior, I am happy to mention that the theme blends harmoniously well with the pertinent factors of institutionalizing the university,” he said.

According to Dr. Kakumba, organizations are built on four (4) core blocks of; Vision, mission, goal and people. Institutions work towards achieving their goals and aspirations. To achieve this, they develop a vision with achievable objectives; a mission that captures the institution’s identity; and a goal that provides an explanation for the institution’s existence.

“Institutions are built on human systems, not on walls, or blocks. Without the human side enterprise, you cannot go anywhere. The people you employ must be nourished like babies. Seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, are very critical in feeding the human enterprise,” he stated.

Members of staff from Certificate and Ceremonies Division posing for a photo with the Academic Registrar.

The Academic Registrar, Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye thanked members of staff for the great work they are doing for the university and the Department. He encouraged them to always exercise the highest level of integrity when performing their daily duties. In the Same spirit, he applauded the team that developed the Departmental Strategic plan of 2020-230

He described the Department of Academic Registrar as a sensitive place dealing with student academic records. He therefore urged staff to perform their work diligently to the satisfaction of both the employer (government, university) and the client (students, parents, sponsors and investors).

“As the Department, we have registered success in the mandate that we are supposed to perform because of your hard work. I appreciate your commitment to your roles and obligations. I believe that we can do better. We are holding this Refresher Seminar to improve further,” he said.

The Facilitator, Mrs Alice Mubiru emphasizing her points

He advised staff to love and appreciate their jobs when he said, “Makerere University has nurtured us.  We have been able to educate our children and care for our wellbeing. Let us value the jobs that we have and perform to our best.”

The Facilitator, Mrs Alice Mubiru advised participants to always focus on applying for jobs that suit their interests and abilities. “If you want to excel at your work, it is important to do a job in line with your interest and ability.”

The Refresher Seminar was an interactive session with participants sharing knowledge, professional experiences and enhancing individual capacity development.  

Participants were able to reflect on the importance of the various policies that are critical in the execution of the mandate of the Department of the Academic Registrar.

Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi discussing the various policies in the Academic Registra's Department.

In a presentation, the Deputy Registrar (Senate Division), Mrs. Patience Rubabinda Mushengyezi encouraged members of staff to read and understand the University policies that govern their respective roles.

“The Department has a policy on admissions, registration, students’ loads, policies on withdrawal and policies on retakes. Since we are dealing with students, we need to be familiar with these policies to avoid mistakes. These policies help us to interpret the University mandate, goals and objectives. The policies help us to enforce university rules,” she emphasized.

Discussing the role of the Department of Academic Registrar in enhancing public relations at Makerere University; the Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango urged staff to always have a sense of belonging to Makerere University.

The Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions and Records Division) Mr. Charles Ssentongo with some of the participants.

She asked staff to guard against actions that tarnish the university image and reputation and advised them on the proper and professional use of communication platforms while sending a formal communication on behalf of the University.

“Poor customer care, missing marks, not responding to complaints in time, students and staff strikes, students who have satisfied requirements missing on the Graduation list, are some of the actions that have negatively impact the University’s reputation among its publics,” she mentioned.

In a presentation on Customer care, Ms. Namisango highlighted the need to train University staff on customer care. According to her, customer care is a vital element of institution-client relationship and can strongly impact the operations of the institution and its image.

The Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango  highlighting the need to train staff on customer care.

“We should serve our clients (students, fellow staff, partners, investors, parents) with a positive attitude and humility. The way we handle them either strengthens or weakens our reputation, builds or destroys our image and promotes or negatively affects the Makerere University brand,” she said.

“Remember that our actions; whether individual or departmental, will impact the university. Excellent customer care service leads to a wonderful Public Relations Strategy. Always remember to treat people well. Be kind to your customers so that they appreciate your services,” she added.

Ms. Ruth Iteu, presenting  the expectations of  department on the ICT Systems.

To develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the mandate of the Academic Registrar, the participants listened to unit specific presentations from the following Divisions/Sections:  

  • Undergraduate Admissions and Records by  Deputy Registrar, Mr. Charles Ssentong
  • Examinations and Transcripts by Deputy Registrar, Mr. Tom. L. Otim
  • Certificates, Ceremonies and Publications, Ms. Dorothy Kabanda
  • Experiences, Work Load and Expectations at the College level, Dr. Alfred Tingo
  • Application avenues, processes and requirements for application, Ms. Hellen Ssali
  • The Role of the Central Office by Mr. Thomas Baguma
  • Available Systems in the ICT Division and demonstrations of AIMS, Ms. Ruth Iteu
  • Budgeting and accounts procedures in Accounts Division, Ms. Maria N. Kigonvu

In the wrap up session, the members emphasized the need to review the Structure of the Department of the Academic Registrar; recruit Registrars at the School level for enhanced delivery at the College level; lobby for increased financial resources allotted to the Department; hold a Training in Public Relations and Customer Care; budget for Annual Capacity building programmes among other proposals.

Article by: Proscovia Nabatte, 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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