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Mind Education, an Enabler of National Development

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In 1962, the GDP per capita of South Korea was US$90. Matters weren’t helped by the fact that country had poor soils, no mineral resources to exploit and hostile neighbours. During the winter when the temperatures dropped to -5 degrees centigrade, it was not uncommon for the less fortunate to either starve or freeze to death.

 This vicious cycle of poverty continued until the 1960s when President Park worked hard to introduce Mind Education to help change the mindset of the South Korean population. Mind Education programmes were introduced in school curricula and as the mindsets of people changed, the country evolved. Today, South Korea is ranked highly among developed countries with a GDP per capita above US$30,000.

This picture of South Korea’s remarkable transition was painted by Prof. Johan Kim, Chairman of the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) in East Africa. Prof. Kim made his presentation at the virtual Mind Education Workshop for staff of Makerere University hosted by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on Friday 6th November 2020. The Workshop was organized by the Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire and the Dean, School of Psychology, Assoc. Prof. Grace Milly Kibanja in partnership with IYF.

Welcoming participants to the workshop, Dr. Kibanja shared that the School of Psychology had been collaborating with IYF since 2015. Together, the School and IYF have organised youth conferences both within and outside the university and reached out to prisons to conduct Mind Education.

“In 2019 we piloted the Mind Education Course among second year students of the Bachelor of Industrial and Organisational Psychaology and this is still ongoing. We are planning to conduct an evaluation of the programme soon” added Dr. Kibanja.

Explaining why the School had taken lead in this initiative, the Dean said that since Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour, as sure as night follows day, training in upright judgment and clear reasoning would inevitably lead to positive behavioural change. “Mind Education is geared towards strengthening our hearts and minds to overcome resistance to change by rising above our unpleasant desires.”

Assoc. Prof. Grace Milly Kibanja (Left) and the rest of the IYF Uganda Team at their office in CTF1, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda during the Mind Education Workshop on 6th November 2020.

In her remarks, the Principal CHUSS observed that it is important to generate a network of people who will not just complain about problems but seek to create solutions and forge a way forward. “As Principal, I am happy about Mind Education because I think it will go a long way in creating a generation that will take the future in its hands and craft solutions accordingly.”

In this regard, she thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe for always being on the lookout for opportunities that can foster the delivery of Makerere University’s mandate. “The mindset change conversation is very important to us as an institution and we need to mainstream it in the programmes that we teach at Makerere.”

Dr. Ahikire pointed out that although people on the African continent face a number of challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated that we have the capacity to come up with appropriate solutions. Strengthening this mindset, she noted, would enable us to train a resilient generation.

“I therefore thank the International Youth Fellowship for this very important collaboration with the School of Psychology and Makerere University in general. We welcome you and we embrace the Mind Education Programme as we build for the future.”

Prof. Johan Kim in his presentation noted that the mindset change in South Korea had spawned a generation of optimistic innovators and researchers who helped to turn their national economy around. This evolution meant that the hitherto disadvantaged country had gradually become a leading global exporter of goods whose raw materials they didn’t even produce.

“Today, South Korea is the seventh leading exporter of refined petroleum, a leading exporter of coffee and for a country that doesn’t have iron ore, home to the largest shipbuilding companies in the world” remarked Prof. Kim.  

The Founder of Good News Mission, International Youth Fellowship (IYF) and Gracias Choir-Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park (R) delivers his special lecture on Mindset with the help of his interpreter (R) during the Mind Education Workshop on 6th November 2020.

He concluded his presentation with the illustration of Koi’s law. Koi is a Japanese fish whose growth is proportional to the environment it is kept in. In a fish bowl, it grows to from 5 to 8cm, while in a pond it grows from 12 to 25cm. However, when the same fish is placed in a river it grows to a whooping 90 to 120cm. “The environment in which we keep our minds will determine where (how far) we go.”

Prof. Kim reassured that once the youth acquire a strong and positive mindset through Mind Education, the way they look at their country is bound to change. “Through Mind Education, we shall be able to move the mindset of our young people from the fishbowl to the pond to the river.”

As participants were still absorbing Prof. Kim’s fascinating presentation, it was time to be treated to yet another captivating performance, this time by the Gracias Choir, an orchestra and choral ensemble founded by Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park in the year 2000. Their melodious and well-assembled performance of the Ugandan National anthem and Yansumulula Nze; a Luganda gospel song, amazed the participants.

Following this spectacular performance, the Keynote Speaker Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park “took to the stage” to deliver his Special Lecture on Mindset with through his proficient translator. He began by stressing the importance of applying ones heart to scenes that play out daily, noting that people who’d mastered the art of taking care of and using their heart were a world apart.

Like a true Evangelist, Rev. Dr. Park delivered his special lecture in storytelling fashion, starting off with his own life as a nineteen year old and the difficulties he faced to the story of the beautiful, well-educated young lady who against all advice chose to marry a crippled uneducated young man.

He captivated his audience by painting a picture of the uphill task faced by the girl in breaking the news to her parents, to the suspicion she aroused from the young man’s family, which suspicion melted into pure bliss when they discovered how serious she was. Rev. Dr. Park had us all eating out of the palm of his hand as he narrated how this love story progressed into marriage, complete with all the facial expressions, appropriate sounds and hand gestures, leading us past blooming flowers up the mountain to the peak.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe delivers the closing remarks at the Workshop organised by CHUSS in partnership with IYF.

Suddenly, the beautiful tale veered off, taking a dark ghastly turn. Happily ever after gave way to ominous foreboding as the young man’s envy and rage overwhelmed his sense of reason. Mistaking his beautiful bride’s market errands for moments spent cavorting with other able-bodied men, he resorted to violent assault, shattering body and heart, a sad turn of events, a bitter end.  

The Evangelist now had us where he wanted. It was time to deliver his blow, or so we thought. He then switched gears, shifting to a tale of South Korean car manufacturers and how the power of Mind Education had turned this sector’s fortunes around. Having depended on the Japanese to supply car engines for their brands for years, the South Koreans felt that they had gained sufficient experience to assemble their own and therefore asked their former supplier to teach them this skill. This request had been met with persistent “it’s too hard” responses year after year. When the South Koreans threatened to make their own engines, this announcement was received as the joke of the century by the Japanese.

Frustrated and insulted, the South Koreans had returned home, assembled their teams, shared their vision to build their own engines going forward and embarked on the herculean task. As fate would have it, they were pleasantly surprised to learn assembling car engines wasn’t as hard as the Japanese had made it seem. The rest as they say is history. Today South Korean car exports are worth billions of dollars.  

“If you think more deeply, you get to think of things other people don’t. Leave behind your first level of thought and try to embrace deep thinking. If you go about life thinking deeply, you will live a blessed glorious life” concluded Rev. Dr. Park.

In the reactions that followed, a participant wondered why mindset change has been less experienced in Africa and whether the environment had any effect on this. In response, Prof. Kim noted that South Koreans too were in the past more concerned about basic living (eating and sleeping), and quitessentially focused more on how to become rich. “Many people in Africa are focusing on the materialistic or hardware more than the software part of our life. We need a lot of awareness through Mind Education especially for the youth so that they can think more in terms of development than daily needs.”

Another participant sought to find out whether frustration plays a role in mindset change. Prof. Kim responded by sharing that a weak heart and mindset are the primary reason why people are easily frustrated or stressed by anything. “This is because such a person is usually avoiding burdens or difficulties of life. When we continuously allow our mindset to collide with burdens and difficulties, our hearts become stronger. As such, we are able to easily overcome hardship when it comes our way.”

Part of IYF’s Technical Team that coordinated the Mind Education Workshop at work in CTF1, Makerere University

Delivering the closing remarks, the Host, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that civilization started in Africa 5,000 years ago and for over 800 years, the Moors occupied Spain. Whereas these ancient civilizations had collapsed, the Vice Chancellor opined that it was still possible for Makerere University to be inspired by the South Korean success and as the top black University lead the mindset change campaign. “For the last few weeks, I have seen a lot coming out of Makerere University in the form of research and innovations from every college. This is commendable.”

Prof. Nawangwe observed that whereas our population is exploding, our resources are not and as such a quick solution is needed to address this. As a first step, the School of Psychology was working closely with IYF to explore how to incorporate Mind Education into the curriculum. The Vice Chancellor also shared that a second workshop was in the offing and staff would be informed about the dates accordingly.

He thanked Rev. Dr. Park for delivering the keynote, as well as Dr. Ahikire, Dr. Kibanja and the IYF representatives, Prof. Kim and Pastor Part for organizing the Workshop. He equally thanked all participants taking time off to attend the workshop. “We cannot continue leaving our fate to chance; we have this fate in our hands.”

Article by Public Relations Office.  

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President Museveni Launches National Mindset Education Programme

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Short Course Announcement: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning

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The Lead Facilitator, Dr. Roy William Mayega (Left) takes participants through Instructional Design (ID) Training held from 29th January to 2nd February 2018. RAN Innovation Lab, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), School of Public Health Annex, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Plot 28, House 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Many faculty members in Higher Education Institutions do not get pre-service training in teaching and learning before they start teaching. This means that they have to learn the ‘hard way’ on the job, and this often affects the quality of delivery. The Office of the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MakSPH, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Institute of Open Distance and eLearning – Makerere University hereby announce the 2024 edition of the course titled: Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning. The course will run from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 2024, only in the morning hours (08.00am – 11.30 am). The course will be delivered in dual mode: Both online (through the zoom platform) and face-to-face (at the RAN Lower Lab, MakSPH Annex in Kololo). The course is open to both junior and senior faculty members, research fellows, honorary lecturers and academic program administrators from Makerere University and other Universities wishing to enhance their teaching skills, with a view to improving teaching and learning.

Applying

Interested applicants are requested to send a short expression of interest that includes their designation, by email, to: Mr. Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, using the following email address: imutyaba@musph.ac.ug. Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants should be ready to take off 5 mornings of intense work during the week indicated. Come and discover the frontiers of teaching and learning.

The Course Team

Course Lead: Dr. Roy William Mayega (MBChB, MPH, PhD), Senior Lecturer, Instructional Materials Designer/Editor, MPH DE Program, MakSPH; Lead the co-creation of instructional materials for the inaugural MPH DE Program

Course Facilitators

  1. Dr. Roy Gonzaga Mubuuke (PhD), Breast Radiology Specialist/Medical Education Consultant/Member HEPI Project Team
  2. Dr. Rovincer Najjuma (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Curriculum Specialist, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University
  3. Dr. Suzanne Kiwanuka (PhD), Senior Lecturer/Chair Department of Health Policy, Planning & Management, MakSPH, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
  4. Dr. Barbara Kirunda (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, MakSPH, MakCHS, Field Coordinator, MPHDE Program
  5. Mr. Jude Oboth, IT Specialist, MakSPH; 12 years of professional experience managing large organizational computer networks
  6. Prof. Pauline Byakika (PhD), Professor of Medicine, Chair Department of Internal Medicine, MakSoM, MakCHS, Head, Mentorship Program MakCHS
  7. Dr. John Bosco Isunju (PhD), Lecturer, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, MakSPH, MakCHS; Head, COVID Task force on alternative assessment, MakSPH

Support Team

  • Ivan Mutyaba, Administrator, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Admin Support
  • Harriet Adong, Communications Specialist, ResilientAfrica Network and MakRIF – Course Communications lead
  • Wilson Abigaba, IT Specialist RAN and MakRIF – Course IT Support
  • Debbie Namirembe, Senior Administrator, RAN – Admin Support

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Mary Stuart Hall Rehabilitation Commences as VC Hands over Site to NEC

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre) hands over a file to NEC Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira (Left) as Ag. DVCFA, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe (Right) witnesses on 31st May 2024. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall commenced on Friday 31st May 2024 with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe handing over the site to the contractor National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) represented by Managing Director and CEO, Lieutenant General James Mugira. The first and largest female Hall of residence, Mary Stuart was completed in 1953 and named after wife to Bishop Simon Cyril Edgar Stuart, the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Uganda from 1932-1952. Mary Stuart worked hard for the betterment of women education during her time in Uganda.

Mary Stuart becomes the second student residence to undergo rehabilitation following the handover of Lumumba Hall to NEC on 27th June 2023. Both projects are fully funded by the Government of Uganda. And whereas Lumumba’s works cost UGX9billion, Mary Stuart’s will cost UGX10.5billion, and cover roof repairs, plumbing and electrical systems and installations overhaul, as well as external aesthetic works.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor thanked the President, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Government of Uganda for ensuring that funds for the long-awaited rehabilitation of student halls of residence are availed. In the same breath, he thanked the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni for not only inspecting the state of the halls on 19th January 2021 but also ensuring that funding for the halls rehabilitation project is prioritized.

Prof. Nawangwe commended NEC on being a professional contractor, noting that all matters arising out of previous projects had been handled within original budgets and time-frames.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (2nd Right) receive a guided tour of the Mary Stuart Hall site from Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli (Right), Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera (2nd Left) and other officials.

“Now that we are in a girls’ hall, every detail matters. We must make this hall look like one that is going to house the future mothers and leaders of this nation so that when they leave, they feel that they have attended a leading university in the world” the Vice Chancellor advised NEC.

Prof. Nawangwe equally urged the Project Consultants led by Dr. Kenneth Ssemwogere, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) to work with the contractor on ensuring that the project works and aesthetics give the hall a fresh new look.

On behalf of NEC, Lt. Gen. James Mugira thanked the Vice Chancellor and leadership of Makerere University for the trust and confidence shown in the Corporation’s capabilities, adding that he was happy as an alumnus of the School of Law to be back to contribute the development of his Alma mater. “This is the third project we are undertaking as the National Enterprise Corporation; we started with the perimeter wall, and we are now at Lumumba Hall where works are at 80-85% completion.”

Lt. Gen. Mugira therefore reassured the Management that NEC would do quality work and try as much as possible to complete the project in time, at a relatively lower cost than other contractors. “With NEC, we bring on board military discipline and we don’t have red tape or bureaucracies; once a decision has been taken, it has been taken” he clarified.

“I want to thank the Vice Chancellor for believing in and promoting local content, because NEC is a local company. With NEC engaging in such a project, we are first of all giving jobs to our young people, we are skilling them, we are saving foreign exchange that would otherwise be repatriated and as a country, we are building capacity” Lt. Gen. Mugira summed up.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa. Site Handover for the proposed rehabilitation of Mary Stuart Hall, Mary Stuart Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd Left) and Lt. Gen. James Mugira (4th Left) pose for a group photo with Left to Right: Ms. Ritah Namisango, Eng. Brian Buhanda, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi, Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Mr. Rodney Rugyema and Ms. Norah Nalubowa.

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe expressed happiness that the second phase of rehabilitation of halls of residence was finally taking off under the NEC, a contractor that had done quality work on other projects such as the new Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) plant in Jinja.

He noted that the project will provide good grounds for hands-on industrial training for students of quantity surveying, architecture, civil engineering, and other disciplines. Prof. Alinaitwe further observed that the project accords staff the opportunity to not only improve their professional profiles but also practice as consultants within the university premises, “and so we thank the Vice Chancellor for availing us these opportunities.”

The University Secretary and former Guild President, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda shared that the University Leadership looks forward to the rehabilitation works being expedited. “The current student leaders have challenged us that they would like to be around for the commissioning of the finished product and so I hope that we can finish these works and give them an opportunity to account to their electorate.

Prior to the handover ceremony, the parties were taken on a guided tour of the site by the Director, Estates and Works Department, Eng. Okuk Geoffrey Bright Owera, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Warden Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Norah Nalubowa and a host of other officials accompanied by the Chairlady Mary Stuart Hall, Ms. Mary Gloria Nakajubi.

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Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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