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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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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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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution

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Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative

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By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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