The Makerere University Directorate of Information and Communication Technology Support (DICTS) held a social media workshop to equip Makerere University staff with skills and knowledge on how to use social media as an enabler of effective communication, eLearning and cyber-crime prevention. The workshop took place on 13th February 2020 in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) Conference Hall.
According to the Director DICTS, Mr. Samuel Paul Mugabi, the workshop was aimed at discussing ways through which Makerere University staff can embrace the professional usage of social media tools to improve the Institution’s online brand, boost its visibility as well as harmonise the use of social media as a learning tool.
“Social media has evolved from a chat application to a social economic issue that can be used as a marketing tool for institutions. It is important to tap into social media’s potential of enabling effective communication, education, marketing and governance,” said Mr. Mugabi.
He noted that with over 3.5billion users, social media is a key enabler of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) thus contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which is aimed at “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
In a presentation on “Makerere University Communication Policy and Social Media”, the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango urged participants to ensure that the messages disseminated on institutional social media platforms and websites protect the University’s brand. She called upon the audience to use multiple channels of communication so as to enhance the visibility of Makerere and promote advances in teaching, learning, research and innovations.
“Makerere University’s social media platforms should be used to communicate institutional messages in line with the vision, mission, and core values. Institutional communication should be in line with the Mak Communication Policy to provide a pro-active approach to information management and dissemination, strengthen the University’s image and build good will among the stakeholders,” said Ms. Namisango.
Defining social media as an enabler of teaching and learning, Assoc. Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Deputy Principal College of Education and External Studies (CEES) said that social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook, promote student-student and student-teacher interaction. He added that these also motivate lonely distance learners, create a sense of belonging and support learning anytime.
“Social media fosters positive relationship between the lecturers and students. It should be recalled that interacting using social media is less formal and it creates a friendly environment between the students and faculty members. It is such interactions that will motivate the students and encourage effective learning,” said Assoc. Prof. Muyinda.
He added that social networking allows users to add value to the content they are accessing. This, he noted, leads to a seamless exchange of information building a robust body of knowledge that is sometimes called collective intelligence.
Taking the audience through social media threats, risks and security, the Director Cyber-Crime Department, Uganda Police Force, Mr. Haguma Jimmy said many people have fallen victims of social media orchestrated threats, theft and crime in Uganda. He said that the Uganda Police Force has registered several cases related to cybercrime such as cyber rape, loss of funds to conmen and online investment clubs, hackers, sim card swaps among others.
He called upon Ugandans to acquaint themselves with the laws that govern social media and also adopt the best social media practices.
Mr. Hussein K. Isingoma, Ag. Commissioner Forensics and Risk Advisory, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development urged digital marketers and social media managers to acquaint themselves with soft skills so as to manage relationships effectively.
“A combination of soft skills and technical skills is at a center of career success. Success depends on the mastery of soft skills which include time management, discipline, conflict resolution, acknowledging colleague’s effort among others” said Mr. Isingoma.
The workshop was moderated by Mr. Yunusu Musisi, Acting End User Support Manager, DICTS.
Article by: Esther Joy Nakibombo Volunteer Mak Public Relations Office
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,907 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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