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Information Seeking Behavior of Secondary School Students during Lockdown

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RIF COVID-19 Project: Information Seeking Behavior of Secondary School Students during the Lockdown in Uganda

Executive Summary

1. Introduction

This study addresses the need to effectively meet the information needs of secondary school students during the lockdown in Uganda. When the President of the Republic of Uganda directed that all schools be closed schools on 20th March 2020, students at all levels had to undergo home-schooling. The Ministry of Education and Sports and some schools developed learning materials to facilitate home-schooling during the lockdown. However, access to school libraries is not possible and consequently, there is limited access to information resources necessary for effective study and learning. Students have to study independently at home but the question of how they access the necessary information resources to supplement their studies, remains unanswered. This study sought to establish the information seeking behavior of secondary school students during the lockdown, what sources they use, the challenges they face and thus has proposed a framework for providing library and information services to home-schooling secondary school students during the lockdown in Uganda.The study was guided by the Wilson’s and Krieklas’ model(1999) of Information Seeking. The model attempts to describe the process a user follows to satisfy an information need. It takes into account the user’s previous information-seeking experience. The user uses the tools that are most familiar and easy to use that find results. The model not only applies in the library context, but also to any information-seeking activity just like the one in which homeschooling secondary school students are at the moment.

2. Methodology

A survey was carried out in five districts including Kyenjojo, Sironko, Mukono, Dokolo and Nakapiripirit representing the four major regions of Uganda.  Given the timing of this project, choice of districts was based on the ease with which we could identify EASLIS students in the districts, who would serve as research assistants/guides and ease entry into the communities.These were non-border districts and had not registered any COVID-19 case.  Based on a total secondary school student population of 1,370,583 (UBOS, 2018) we targeted a sample size of 384 (Krejcie& Morgan table (1970). However, the enthusiasm of the students resulted into collecting data from 446 respondents from 22 sub counties. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. Convenience sampling and snowball sampling was used to select individual survey participants. Majority of the respondents (87.9%) were O level students and only 12.1% were A level students.

3. Findings

3.1.How Secondary School Students seek/obtain information during the lock down

It was important to establish whether students were study while at home before ascertaining how they sought information to supplement their learning activities. The study established that 23.77% were using print study materials, 34.53% usedtelevision, while 51.57% used radio. However, 84.97% indicated that the learning materialswere not adequate. Reasons given included inadequate Content (42.95%); inadequate explanations (33.89%), subjects are not balanced (18.12%) and insufficient media Time/Timing for Lessons (5.03%). Thus, 90.4% indicated that they needed more information to supplement their study and learning during the lockdown.

Students Information Needs

Students’ information needs included information about COVID-19, sports, entrepreneurship, counselling, current affairs, religious information, fashion, designand academic information (school schedules, subject-specific information, examinations, etc.)

Information Seeking Practice

Students sought information by:

  • Consulted information sources with a purpose in mind (74.82%)
  • Using radio/television (74.21%)
  • Collaborating with others (73%)
  • Using others to seek information on their behalf (59.3%)
  • Accidently encountering with information (54.5%).
  • Using the internet (32.2%)
  • Using social media (31.1%)
The Project Principal Investigator-Dr. Joyce Bukirwa makes her presentation during the research dissemination on 19th August 2020

On whether the students had been guided or trained on how to seek or find information especially from various electronic resources, the study established that 27.6% had received such training while 72.4% had not.Even though the 27.6% had indicated they had received the training, 33.08% of them could not tell where they got the training. 34.59%had been trained by their schools, parents/relative (23.31%), through self-study (5.26%) and neighbors (3.76%).

3.2 Information Sources used by Secondary School Students during the Lockdown

The information sources used regularly by students included; personal notes (60.08%), radio (24%), personal textbooks (23%) and television (15.02%).  The rest of the information sources includedInternet (8.74%) and newspapers (6.27%).

Students that were satisfied with personal notes were 51.56%, those satisfied with personal textbook were 27.57%, radio (19.73%), television (15.69%) and newspapers (8.74%).

Majority (91.03%) were not satisfied with nearby library as an alternative source of information. The low level of satisfaction with nearby library is attributed to absence of public libraries in the districts. Only, two students expressed awareness about the existence of a nearby public library (Lira Public Library) which was located over 50km from their homes.

3.3 Challenges/Hindrances faced by Secondary School Students in accessing information resources

Students’ access to information is constrained by a number of challenges including lack of access to a nearby library/resource center (92.15%), high cost of data bundles and OTT tax (83.85%), lack of access to the Internet  (72.64%), lack of access to ICTs e.g. computers, smart phones, printing and photocopying services (70.85%), failure to find the relevant information easily (68.60%), inadequate information literacy skills (60.53%), insufficient knowledge of how to use a library/electronic resources (54.93%), lack of access to reading materials while at home (54.48%), lack of access to electricity (59.64%) and lack of appropriate reading space (24.21%).

High cost of radio batteries, unclear timetable for radio and television lessons, travelling long distances to sub counties to collect the study materials were hindrances to accessing information by the students.

Suggestions by the students to overcome the above challenges include:

  • Parents reducing on domestic work to allow more time for study
  • Allocation of more time  for lessons on Television and Radios
  • Dissemination of the radio/television study timetable
  • Establishment of community libraries
  • ICT infrastructure development
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Reduce the cost of Internet access and OTT

4. Conclusion

The closure of schools created an information gap for the learners. Information resources that used to be provided by the school libraries to support their studies, cannot be accessed, while at home.

While studying away from school, 90.4% needed more information and support. In addition, this study has revealed a low level of information literacy level among the students.  While at school, school libraries / teacher librarians would guide access to information resources including how to utilize electronic information resources.

Even with the availability of different information sources like newspapers, radio, Internet, television, personal or borrowed textbooks, students mainly used personal notes (60.08%), followed by textbooks (24%) and radio (23%). The absence of nearby libraries resulted into 90.8% of the students not using libraries as an alternative information source.

Only a few (6.50%) had been supported by their school libraries through book borrowing, distribution of learning materials and provision of reading space.

Therefore, students’ access to information during the lockdown is constrained and this calls for measures to address this information gap and thus support effective study and learning during the lockdown and future pandemics.

Proposed Framework through which Library and Information Services can be provided to Secondary School Students during the Lockdown

The proposed framework for enabling access to library and information services to secondary school students during a pandemic is depicted in the figure below:

Fig 1:   Proposed Framework for provision of Library and Information Services to Learners

Proposed Framework for provision of Library and Information Services to Learners - COVID-19 Project, EASLIS, CoCIS, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Recommendations

The Government of Uganda should

  • Establish an information literacy programme for learners’ independent study and learning.
  • Ensure that regardless of closure of schools, Library and Information Services should be provided to the learners through digital and mobile library services

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), through the Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF), should provide funding for the realization of the proposed framework.

The Project Team

The Project team comprised researchers from the East African School of Library and Information Science under the College of Computing and Information Sciences, Makerere University.

  1. Dr. Joyce Bukirwa – Principal Investigator
  2. Ms. Lois Mutibwa – Researcher
  3. Ms. Faridah Muzaki – Researcher
  4. Mr. Richard Batte – Researcher
  5. Mr. Aloysius Ssenono Mwanje – Researcher
  6. Dr. David Luyombya – Researcher

Acknowledgement

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) Special COVID-19 call.

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Agriculture & Environment

Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti Delivers Valedictory Lecture to CAES Community, Recounts His 43-year Experience at Mak

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CAES staff in a group photo with Prof. Elly Sabiiti after the Valedictory Lecture on 2nd September 2022, SFTNB Conference Hall, Makerere University.

Theme of the Lecture: “My Inspirational Academic Track Service at Makerere University: A Case for CAES”

After 43 years of dedicated service to Makerere University, Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti, a prolific researcher and internationally recognized scholar, currently working at Busitema University–Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, retired from university service in 2021. On 2nd September 2022, Prof. Sabiiti, in company of his wife Joy Sabiiti delivered a valedictory lecture to staff at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University. The lecture organized by the Office of the Principal, CAES and held in the Conference Hall at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering focused on his experiences, achievements, challenges, and strategies that enabled CAES to evolve from a Faculty to one of the most celebrated Colleges at the University. He specifically spoke about his career development in terms of teaching, research, graduate supervision, leadership, resource mobilization, representation on professional bodies, and outreach services, before sharing his thoughts for CAES to grow to higher levels and excel in Agricultural and environmental Sciences.

The Principal of CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga welcomes members of staff to the lecture.
The Principal of CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga welcomes members of staff to the lecture.

Addressing members of staff, Prof. Sabiiti noted that he was happy to be delivering his Valedictory Lecture at the time Makerere University is celebrating 100 years of existence and excellence.  He appreciated Makerere University Management for providing a conducive environment and facilities that enabled him to excel to become an international professor. He equally appreciated all development partners who supported his academic journey. Having joined Makerere University in 1973 as an undergraduate student, Prof. Sabiiti rose through the ranks to become a professor in 1998. During his time at Makerere, Prof. Sabiiti served in various capacities and made enormous contribution towards the development of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and Makerere in general. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Production at CAES.

Dr. Johnbaptist Tumuhairwe, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences presenting Prof. Elly Sabiiti's profile before the Valedictory Lecture.
Dr. Johnbaptist Tumuhairwe, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences presenting Prof. Elly Sabiiti’s profile before the Valedictory Lecture.

Academic contributions

At Makerere, Prof. Sabiiti had an illustrious career. He developed and taught several undergraduate and graduate courses namely; Undergraduate – Pasture Agronomy, Plant Genetic Resources and Utilization (developed), Seed Science and Technology (developed), Forest Fire Ecology, Agricultural Botany, Ecology and Crop Practical Skills. Graduate courses developed and taught by Prof. Sabiiti included Agronomy of Grasslands, Eco-physiology (developed), Seed Science and Technology (developed), and Plant Genetic Resources and Utilization. He played a key role in the transformation of the Agricultural Husbandry Forum to a Regional Forum based at Makerere University. He established collaboration at local and global levels with various institutions such as Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, ILCA, AFRINET, ICRAF, NARO, ASARECA and this improved visibility of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Prof. Sabiiti supervised 33 graduate students, 26 MSc and 7 PhDs and had over 150 publications by the time he retired. He supervised and supported several members of staff to attain doctorates and to raise through the ranks to become senior lecturers and associate professors. These include, Dr Denis Mpairwe, an Assoc. Prof and former Head, Department of Agricultural Production; Dr Justine Kasozi Nambi, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Production; Dr C Katongole, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Production, and Coordinator Centre for Waste Management; Dr Sylvester Katuromunda, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Production; Dr Jeninah Karungi-Tumutegyereize, an Assoc. Prof. in the Department of Agricultural Production; Dr A. Amoding, Department of Agricultural Production; Dr W Ekere, Department of Agricultural Production (Retired); Dr. A. R. Turinawe, Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics; Dr O. Walekhwa, Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (Deceased); Dr Okello, Senior Lecturer, CoVAB; Dr H. Kato, Associate Professor, Kyambogo University; and Dr S. Mugasi, ED, NAADS.

Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti delivering the Valedictory Lecture.
Prof. Elly N. Sabiiti delivering the Valedictory Lecture.

Curriculum Expansion

As Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Prof. Sabiiti was instrumental in the review and expansion of academic programmes at CAES.  “There used to be one MSc in Agriculture with options but these would not be reflected on the degree certificate so we revised the old curriculum and proposed specialized MSc degrees of the various options, MSc Crop Science, MSc Soil Sciences, MSc Animal Science, and MSc Agricultural extension and this increased post graduate numbers. I led the development of a highly popular program –Masters in Agribusiness Management that combined science courses with agricultural economics to produce agribusiness entrepreneurs and make agriculture a rewarding business. We also revised the undergraduate degree programme from three: Bsc Agriculture, BSc Food Science and Technology and BSc Agricultural Engineering to over 10 programs,” he noted. “By the time I handed over to the next Dean, Prof. Matete Bekunda in 2003, the Faculty was leading in Academic programmes, significant financial research funds, several publications, and staff with PhD as well as MSc.”

CAES staff attending the lecture.
CAES staff attending the lecture.

Administrative roles

Administratively, Prof. Sabiiti held several leadership positions spanning a period of nine years, 1993-2003. He served as Head, Department of Crop Sciences, and Dean – Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (November 1994-2003). Recounting his experience, Prof. Sabiiti said it was during his period as Dean that the Faculty had unprecedented growth in terms of Infrastructural development – the evolution of two Faculties and a Research Institute, and academic programs (under /postgraduate programs). In 1998, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry split to two Faculties, Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation. With NORAD support, a building/home was constructed to house the Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation. Kabanyolo University Farm also through a vigorous process was upgraded to Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyoro (MUARIK). “With good collaboration with NARO, the Faculty benefited from World Bank funding for five years and the Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) was constructed as well as a postgraduate building mainly for girls. Using some innovations, a football field was constructed at MUARIK. With this funding, several staff got further training for Masters and PhD and short courses thus building capacity,” he noted. With savings from overhead costs from research and donor-funded projects, the then faculty was able to purchase for the first time a Leyland bus which is still functional-over 24 years), a small Tata bus, a tractor, a car for the Deputy Dean and restored Fish ponds at MUARIK. The other major purchase was about 100acres of land at Namalyagonja bordering MUARIK land. This was to be used for income generation from crop production, especially growing maize. According to Prof. Sabiiti, the idea behind purchasing more land was to prepare for the future plan to have a College and eventually an Agricultural University.

The Principal of CAES presents an award to Prof. Sabiiti in recognition of his distinguished service to Makerere.
The Principal of CAES presents an award to Prof. Sabiiti in recognition of his distinguished service to Makerere.

Other important contributions to the University

Prof. Sabiiti represented the Faculty of Agriculture in Senate. He also Coordinated the SIDA program he had initiated in 1999 to build PhD capacity for staff, improve lab equipment and enhance collaboration with Swedish Universities which was about 2m US$ for 15 years, and the Dryland husbandry Project based in Kazo, about US$850,000. He also served on Boards such NAADS, NEMA UNEB, UISTF /committees–I@Mak, where he had been appointed in his professional capacity. “The SIDA funding is one of my celebrated contributions to the College where we trained in joint collaboration with the Swedish University of Agriculture and produced 9 PhD staff, several MSc staff and also supplemented two staff to finish their PhDs (Drs Katuromunda and Obaa). ”While in Senate, Prof. Sabiiti   participated in the formation of the Collegiate system at Makerere University. He also defended the approval for the establishment of the Agrostudies program between CAES and Israel Institute funded by the Israeli Government which has become very popular at Makerere and at other Ugandan Universities. He served as Chair for Professorial Inaugural Lectures for 14 years. He initiated collaboration between the University of Western Sydney, Australia and Makerere University 1995 todate where one PhD from CAES was sponsored by that University and she graduated this year in May 2022.  He spearheaded the establishment of the first Makerere University Centre of Excellence in Waste Management at MUARIK which was commissioned by the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda in 2017. It has state-of-the-art equipment for bio-waste research. The Centre was also supported by Edmonton Centre of excellence in Waste management, Edmonton, Canada, Bank of Uganda, Makerere University top management and CAES.

CAES Principal presents a souvenir to Prof. Sabiiti. On the Left is Mrs. Joy Sabiiti.
CAES Principal presents a souvenir to Prof. Sabiiti. On the Left is Mrs. Joy Sabiiti.

Recognition Awards based on performance as an Academician and administrator

While in service, Prof. Sabiiti received several awards, locally and internationally in recognition of his excellent performance. These include;

  1. Makerere University Appreciation Award by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in recognition of his distinguished and dedicated service to Makerere University, specifically for the leadership and devotion as Chairperson for the Professorial Inaugural Lectures Organizing Committee 2007-2021.
  2. Was awarded the highest National award for Civilians as a Hero – Independence Golden Jubilee Medal by H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda for his outstanding contribution in research, teaching, outreach, institutional building and administration and his loyalty to the Nation – 26th January 2017.
  3. Appointed by the Board of Directors of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) as the 1st President of ASARECA General Assembly, December 2011 because of his outstanding contributions in agricultural research and served for two years.
  4. Recognized by Makerere University in April 2015 for coordinating very successful research collaboration with SIDA financial support 2000-2015.
  5. Winner of the Presidential Excellence award for Science, technology Education Excellence 2008 for outstanding contribution in the understanding of ecological dynamics of rangeland /grasslands and institutional development.
  6. Winner of the Makerere University Vice Chancellor’s Innovations and Academic Excellence Award 2007/2008 for transforming the living conditions of Pastoral communities in Kazo rangelands.
  7. Received a Certificate of Recognition from Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara for his  outstanding and dedicated services to the University as its pioneer Chairperson of Council 2003-2018.
  8. Received recognition (FELLOW) of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences (UNAS) for exemplary contribution to science and technology, 2004.
  9. Received Recognition Award from the Faculty of Agriculture, Makerere University for having contributed significantly to the establishment of the Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC) in 2001.
  10. Was awarded a golden plaque by the Faculty of Agriculture – Makerere University, in recognition of his outstanding leadership as Dean 1994 – 2003.
Retired member of staff, Prof. John Steven Tenywa receiving an award from the Principal CAES. On the Left is the Deputy Principal, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze.
Retired member of staff, Prof. John Steven Tenywa receiving an award from the Principal CAES. On the Left is the Deputy Principal, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze.

Regional Recognition

  1. Elected Vice President, African Academy of Sciences based in Nairobi 2019 todate.
  2. Recognized Fellow in 2007 of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) based in Nairobi, Kenya for his outstanding scientific contribution in agronomy and Ecology.
  3. Received recognition award for Distinguished Service as Chairman of the National Steering Committee and National Coordinator of the Dryland Husbandry Project, Uganda from 1995-2003 from the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), July 2004.
Prof. Theodora Shuwu Hyuha receiving an award from the Principal CAES. Prof. Hyuha retired from University service this year - 2022.
Prof. Theodora Shuwu Hyuha receiving an award from the Principal CAES. Prof. Hyuha retired from University service this year – 2022.

International Awards

  1. Won the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship for Senior African Scholars 2005/16 offered by USA Department of State and was implemented at the Ohio State University and became a Fulbright Scholar 2016 to-date.
  2. Elected a Fellow by the Governing Council of the Academy into The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) 2001.
  3. Received recognition award for extraordinary service to the Inter Academy Council as a Member of the Panel on Science and Technology Strategies for Improving Agricultura Productivity and food Security in Africa from the Board of Inter Academy Council, The Netherlands, 27th August 2004.
  4. Appointed a TWAS Research Professor in Dec 2006 for five years by the Academy of Sciences for the developing World (TWAS) Secretariat based in Trieste, Italy and was hosted by the National University of Rwanda.
Prof. Nabasirye Margaret receiving her award from the Principal, CAES.
Prof. Nabasirye Margaret receiving her award from the Principal, CAES.

Extra Curricula Activities

  1. Served on Busitema University Council from 2015-2021 and also Chaired Student Affairs and Disciplinary Committee and Appointments Board.
  2. Appointed twice by Makerere University as Orator and presented citation for H.E. Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni for recognition of his contribution to education, agriculture, fight against HIV/Aids and was awarded D Laws (H.causa) 2019, and for the Distinguished Authorship Award for writing a dictionary-Katondoozi in local language – presented  to H.E. in 2020.
  3. Appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the Uganda Independence Scholarships Trust Fund March 1999 to date. This is a Presidential Appointment.
  4. Appointed Director on the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) board by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, 2002 to 2008.
  5. Appointed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports to serve as Chairman of the Curriculum Subcommittee for the Agricultural Colleges in 2000 that reviewed the curriculum and recommended a two-year Diploma instead of three years.
  6. Appointed by the Chancellor of Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara as the first Chairman to its Council, June 2003 to date.
  7. Served as Chairman of the Agribusiness Advisory Committee between the Faculty of Agriculture and the Private Sector in Uganda to monitor a new Masters degree program in Agribusiness Management (1999- 2003).
  8. Appointed by OSSREA as the National Co-coordinator, Dryland Husbandry Project funded by SIDA. The Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and MAAIF and NARO implemented the project from 1996 –2003.
  9. Appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, Makerere University to the MU/Government Committee of 14 that prepared a document on Human Capacity building for decentralization supported by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1999/2000. The project attracted about US$17M from the Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank and Government of Uganda. The implementation committee became  I@Mak.com – Innovations at Makerere Committee.
  10. Appointed by Ministry of Education and Sports as member of the Joint Commission for setting up the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences 1995-2002. The university has been established and is called Gulu University. He was also chairman of the Curriculum Committee that worked out the academic faculties and programs.
  11. Appointed member Taskforce for setting up Agricultural University in the North, by the Prime Minister of Uganda, 1994.
  12.  Elected the first President of the newly formed Association of Uganda Professional Agriculturalists (ASUPA) 2002.
  13. Appointed board member of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) by the Minister of Education and Sports, 2002 to 2005 and was reappointed on the Board from 2006-2009.
  14. Member of the Management Committee of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) 1995-2003.
  15. Member of the National Forum on the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture 1996-2003.
  16. Member of the National Steering Committee for the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture1996-2003.
  17. Appointed by Ministry of Agriculture to be Member of the National Steering Committee to Combat Desertification in Uganda, 1997 to 2010.
  18. National Coordinator, Plant Genetic Resources Coordinating Committee, 1992 -1997.
Retired members of staff after receiving their awards in recognition of their service to Makerere.
Retired members of staff after receiving their awards in recognition of their service to Makerere.

Prof. Sabiiti’s advice to members of staff

  • While in service, work for the good of the institution and the good of others and you will be rewarded.  “As a Professor at Makerere, I had purpose to build human capital. As a Lecturer, you should always have purpose as to why you are teaching and supervising. I came to Makerere to teach and build others. Learn to sacrifice for the good of others.”
  • Mentoring means being able to offer a helping hand to a fallen person or a person struggling with unseen challenges and you do it willingly without expecting rewards from that person. Your expectations from that person is to be a better person.
  • Makerere gives you the best environment to grow academically if you want to grow. Learn to love the institution and you will excel in whatever you do.
  • To the academic leaders, there is need to balance administration and academics. If you don’t, you will be lost when you leave administration.
A retired member of staff receiving an award from the Principal CAES. On the Left is the Deputy Principal, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze.
A retired member of staff receiving an award from the Principal CAES. On the Left is the Deputy Principal, Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze.

Prof. Sabiiti’s thoughts on the future of CAES

Prof. Sabiiti implored staff to remain united with a common vision for the College. “Focus on growing CAES into a University of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. Looking back, CAES has had steady developmental phases initially from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry to a College status and this has been possible through dedicated service of the various leaders and staff. This practice should be further deepened to turn CAES into a much bigger Institution with more Departments, Schools, Centers, Institutes that fit in the NDPIII and Uganda Vision of 2040. You have a very good Strategic Plan 2020-2030 which should now be regularly revised to focus on what you want to achieve. Use the capacity you have on ground to drive your Strategic Plan. You should all remain united with a common vision championed by your leaders if you want to attain higher levels of development.”

One of the retirees, Prof. Bareeba Felix after receiving an award in recognition of his service to Makerere University.
One of the retirees, Prof. Bareeba Felix after receiving an award in recognition of his service to Makerere University.

Appreciation

Prof. Sabiiti appreciated the Principal of CAES, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga for inviting him to deliver his valedictory lecture, and the Deputy Principal, Prof. Yazhidi Bamutaze for coordinating the program.

Prof. Sabiiti with the Principal CAES, the Deputy Principal, Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer, Ms Ritah Namisango and some of the retirees.
Prof. Sabiiti with the Principal CAES, the Deputy Principal, Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer, Ms Ritah Namisango and some of the retirees.

Recognition of retired staff

During the event, the Principal, CAES presented an award to Prof. Sabiiti in recognition of his distinguished service to Makerere University. The Principal, together with the Deputy Principal also presented appreciation awards to other retired members of staff in recognition of their service to Makerere. These included; Prof. Bareeba Felix, Prof. Tenywa Moses, Prof. Hyuha Theodora, Prof. Ssembajjwe Gombya, Prof. William Kyamuhangire, Prof. Nabasirye Margaret, Prof. Mutetikka David, Prof. Tenywa John Stephen, Dr Matsiko Francis, Dr Okiror John James, Dr Nagadya Harriet, Dr Christine Magala Nyago, Dr Michael Iwadra, Ms. Nanziri Sarah, Ms. Kawooya Teddy Mary, Mr. Eugene Manda, Mr. Tibakuzira Arnest, Mr. Emmanuel Nabyama, Ms. Toepista Namayanja, Everst Emuron, and Ms. Benny Kaitesi.

Some of the members of staff who attended the Valedictory Lecture.
Some of the members of staff who attended the Valedictory Lecture.

The Principal appreciated Prof. Elly Sabiiti and the other retirees for serving Makerere with utmost diligence. “It’s because of their sacrifices that CAES has grown and excelled in many aspects,” she noted.

The Valedictory Lecture was moderated by Dr Patrick Byakagaba, a member of staff at CAES.

Retirees join the Principal and Deputy Principal CAES to cut cake in celebration of their service to Makerere.
Retirees join the Principal and Deputy Principal CAES to cut cake in celebration of their service to Makerere.

Full presentation attached below.

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Research

MRC/FCDO African Research Leader Scheme 2023

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The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Centre Black Cap) congratulates the PhD graduands at the first session of the 72nd Graduation Ceremony of Makerere University held 23rd May 2022.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has now launched a further call to support and develop ‘rising star’ African Research Leaders. This is a prestigious award, jointly funded by the MRC and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The aim of the scheme is to strengthen research leadership across sub-Saharan Africa by attracting and retaining exceptionally talented individuals who will lead high quality programmes of research on key global health issues pertinent to the region and beyond. As part of the scheme the African Research Leader should be supported by a strong linkage with a UK partner/mentor.

The closing date for applications is 1st December 2022.

Please see the link below for further information on the scheme and guidance on how to apply:

https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/african-research-leaders/

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Natural Sciences

Dr. Perpetra Akite wins British Ecological Society Marsh Award for Ecologists in Africa

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Dr. Perpetra Akite, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University.

Dr. Perpetra Akite has been awarded the Marsh Award for Ecologists in Africa.  This prize aims to celebrate the significant scientific achievements of African ecologists and raise their profile in the UK. It is provided by the Marsh Charitable Trust and administered by the British Ecological Society.

Dr. Akite is one of Uganda’s leading entomologists and experts in butterflies. She has made important advances in improving knowledge around insects in Uganda, contributing to assessing and mapping key ecologically sensitive species in the country. She has even had a moth named after her.  

Dr. Akite is also passionate about passing on her knowledge to younger generations and takes part in a great deal of outreach activities at both school and university level. Her goal is to encourage more young people – especially African girls – to begin a career in science.

The winners will be presented with their prizes during a ceremony held at the BES Annual Meeting which runs from 18th – 21st December in Edinburgh. The meeting will bring together over 1000 ecologists (in person and online) to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline.

View on CoNAS

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