The Second Professor William Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture was yet another opportunity for the family, friends and educationists from all over Uganda and beyond to celebrate the life of this gallant alumnus and career teacher. Held in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2) Auditorim, Makerere University on Thursday 14th November 2019, the Lecture was organised by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) with support from friends and the family of the late Professor William Senteza Kajubi.
Delivering the keynote address on the theme, "Fostering the Quality of Education in Uganda" the Vice Chancellor, Uganda Christian University (UCU) Rev. Canon Dr. John Senyonyi expressed his joy at being chosen to deliver the Second Memorial Lecture in honour of a man he first met as an S.5 student at King’s College Budo in 1973.
“Prof. Senteza Kajubi later on become my Vice Chancellor at Makerere University, where I returned in 1978 to teach in the Department of Mathematics” he added.
Rev. Canon Senyonyi’s lecture was insightful and holistic as it tackled the subject of quality right from pre-primary level to higher tertiary education institutions. It regularly posed questions that provoked members of the audience to ponder, and was full of quotes from fellow educationists, philosophers and world leaders.
One of these was from the President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address of 1961, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
His resounding call at the end of each discourse on a level of education was the need for Government to step in and regulate the seemingly ‘runaway’ establishment of institutions. In particular, he noted that “Government should take a keen interest in Pre-Primary education… setting up an independent institution to handle the regulation of Pre-Primary Education will ensure quality right from the start.”
Dr. Senyonyi explained that learners at this stage are very susceptible to bias and any bad experience that causes them to detest going to school could stay with them the rest of their academic life. This, he noted, is much harder to undo as the student advances, hence the need to ensure quality right from the foundational stages.
The discourse on Higher Tertiary Education is where the need for better quality came to roost. Here, Dr. Senyonyi started on a poignant note saying “Higher Education might not be for all and yet the development of our country cannot do without it…”
He discussed the mismatch between the increasing numbers of graduates who cannot find jobs and the job market that cannot absorb qualified ones owing to their lack of practical skills. The Keynote speaker in this case proposed the need to establish a network of incubation centres, where learners ought to spend considerable time honing their ability to translate the theory learnt in class into practical skills.
The presence of strong regulatory bodies in any industry is one of the guarantors of good quality outputs. Dr. Senyonyi in this case called for the need to strengthen the education regulatory bodies by funding them adequately. He noted that this would be the only way to ensure that these bodies are able to carry out their work autonomously and effectively, political interference notwithstanding.
Touching on the sensitive subject of moonlighting by lecturers, Dr. Senyonyi shared that “it is a reality today that universities are sharing full-time staff.” He attributed this to the lack of a critical mass of qualified lecturers and the absence of a proper tracking mechanism. The UCU Vice Chancellor therefore called for the need to establish a database of all academic staff by which they can be monitored and accredited.
The evolution of technology and its effect on teaching and learning was another subject that the keynote address tackled. “Higher Tertiary Education cannot ignore the need for E-learning, E-teaching, E-Libraries and other E-resources in the delivery of quality education” noted Dr. Senyonyi. He however, warned against “death of contact” as the negative consequence of e-learning. Personal contact between teachers and their students, he noted, is important in imparting other social skills useful in the job market.
Conducting prolific research without a clear strategy for dissemination is a drawback for many academic institutions and research agencies. In his now familiar style of posing questions, Dr. Senyonyi challenged his audience to reveal the conferences or other platforms through which Ugandan research institutes and bodies disseminate the findings of their work.
Funding for Higher Education Institutions is another topic whose discussion can rage on for days. Dr. Senyonyi who presides over a privately-funded institution challenged his hosts despite being a Government-funded institution, not to overly rely on this mode of funding. He instead recommended that Higher Education Institutions be supported by Government to build endowment funds, which can then be used to fund their operations.
The keynote lecture discussant Dr. David Onen, Senior Lecturer, CEES, was equally up to the task as he gave an emotional but rousing response to the keynote address. He thanked his college of recognizing Prof. William Senteza Kajubi, noting that his contribution to Uganda’s education sector cannot be ignored. The discussant therefore gave his response in the context of Prof. Senteza Kajubi’s exemplary life versus the current situation.
Dr. Onen cautioned the audience to think about the inequality that has cropped up in our schools in terms of different amounts of fees paid by schools in Kampala and those in the rural areas. He noted that this inevitably leads to a difference in the quality of education delivered in rural and urban settings, which wasn’t the case when Prof. Senteza Kajubi went to school.
“Professor Senteza Kajubi loved teaching, he loved his colleagues and his students unlike today’s teachers who are no longer dedicated” said Dr. Onen as he addressed another topic, before adding “Most teachers in Uganda today are angry people; they come to class annoyed and leave even more annoyed.”
The discussant also shared that whereas Prof. Kajubi did not attain a PhD, his writings and manuscripts portray him as a man of quality and a distinguished scholar. He added that as an Educational Administrator, Prof. Senteza Kajubi was a jolly man who knew how to cooperate with colleagues.
Dr. Onen however decried what he termed as ‘today’s generation’s loss of the sense of what true quality is’, instead settling for anything goes. “Quality education must focus on truth” he appealed. “However, people only say what they want people to hear and as a result, truth is a causality among us for several reasons” added Dr. Onen almost sorrowfully.
The discussant concluded his response by noting that none of the recommendations made by Dr. Senyonyi in his keynote address, unfortunately, were new to the audience. He nevertheless noted that we, as a country, need to do a better job of implementing the wonderful recommendations of various committees.
Responding to the day’s presentations, the Principal CEES, Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi reassured the audience that the content from Dr. Senyonyi’s keynote address and Dr. Onen’s response would be published so as to reach a wider audience. He added that the findings from the keynote address and recommendations from the day’s proceedings would be shared with stakeholders in the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Delivering his remarks at the lecture, the Acting Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba, quoting a poem paying tribute to Professor William Senteza Kajubi following his demise, noted that “he was a candle that lit other candles”. He therefore thanked CEES, friends and Prof. Senteza Kajubi’s family for ensuring that his legacy still lives on today through events such as the Memorial lecture.
Dr. Kakumba shared that Makerere University has made great strides in training quality human resource for Uganda and the region as was shown by the diversity of alumni; some well over 60 years of age, who graced the Memorial Lecture. “Our very own Chairperson of Council is an alumna of the School of Education” he added, followed by thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.
The Acting Vice Chancellor nevertheless challenged CEES to organize more debates discussing the quality of education and topics of similar importance, especially as Makerere University prepares to celebrate 100 years of existence in 2022.
The Chief Guest at the Memorial Lecture and Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara in her address to the gathering thanked the University Management and CEES for organizing the Memorial Lecture and encouraged them to continue providing many similar forums where in-depth discussions that are of generational impact on society can be shared.
“I am honoured to be at this very distinguished session and discussion celebrating the life of Professor William Senteza Kajubi who was a door opener; he opened doors of opportunity for many” she said.
Mrs. Magara added that quality education is a multi-dimensional aspect that goes beyond the transference of information from teacher to student to the impartation of life. She therefore decried the current trend that celebrates the academic prowess of a few prolific candidates and not quality education.
“It saddens my heart when for weeks after the release of PLE results by UNEB, our newspapers are awash with candidates who have got 4 aggregates… what we applaud becomes the standard… can we kindly move away from the 4 aggregates to what the value of quality education is?” pondered Mrs. Magara.
The Chairperson of Council concluded her remarks by urging all teachers to ensure that they go beyond simply communicating knowledge to being the true embodiment of quality in whatever they do and the character they portray to their students.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr. Wasswa Kajubi could not help but express his gratitude to Makerere University, CEES, friends and sponsors for the spirit and effort that goes into organizing the Professor William Senteza Kajubi Memorial Lecture. Wasswa is a son, and one half of the three sets of twins that Professor William Senteza Kajubi and his wife Princess Elsie Nabaloga had, a feat that none of the offspring are yet to replicate. He nevertheless sent the audience into rapturous laughter when he added, “however, there is still hope and in the spirit of the Gayaza High School motto, we shall NEVER GIVE UP.”
Mr. Kajubi also thanked several distinguished personalities as well as all members of the audience for sparing time off their busy schedules to attend the Memorial Lecture. He concluded by thanking CEES for hosting and maintaining the bust erected in honour of Professor William Senteza Kajubi at the School of Education.
Please see Downloads for the Keynote address and Response
Article by Public Relations Office
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
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