By Charles Halonda-Funa
The East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University in collaboration with the University of Borås, Sweden officially launched the Erasmus+ ICM and Linnaeus-Palme projects. Under the project each institution will exchange and send undergraduate students, academic staff and administrative staff to their respective partner institutions. The project is slated to last three years with a total of 18 students, 9 academic staff and 3 administrative/library staff benefiting from the exchange program.
The collaboration is a partnership that was initiated in 2019 with the approval of the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University– Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe. It consists of two projects and will be funded for three years. The two projects are:
• A SIDA-funded programme administered by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. The aim is to contribute to a broader resource base for international development cooperation and increased quality in higher education, through teacher and student exchange between higher education institutions in Sweden and higher education institutions in low- and middle-income countries.
• Sustainable Internalization in Library and Information Education.
• Financed by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.
- Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility
• A programme within the Erasmus+ framework promoting the exchange of students, academics, and non-academic staff with partner countries of the ERASMUS+ program (i.e., mostly non-EU and non-EFTA countries and non-candidate countries of the EU).
• Enhanced Sustainable and Integrated Internationalization.
• Financed by Erasmus and the European Union.
Some of the partner countries on these projects include Albania, Brazil, Sweden, Canada, Iran, China, Rwanda and Uganda.
On 1st September 2021, the East African School of Library and Information Science officially bade farewell to the eligible six undergraduate exchange students as the first cohort on these projects. The students are:
- Ms. Nakibuka Esther, Bachelor of Library and Information Sciences (BLIS)
- Mr. Ssemogerere Abubaker, BLIS
- Ms. Kavuhani Immaculate, BLIS
- Mr. Ngowi Innocent, BLIS
- Mr. Kato Arnold, Bachelor of Records and Archive Management (BRAM)
- Ms. Nagujja Jamirah, BRAM
The students were briefed by EASLIS staff on the expectations from them and the partners and in his opening remarks Prof. Constant Okello-Obura (Dean, EASLIS) emphasized on the fact that they would be ambassadors of EASLIS, CoCIS, Makerere University, and Uganda, hence the need for students’ maturity, innovativeness and discipline that is reflective of the high standards of Makerere University. He further added that the students should continuously be in touch with their Heads of Department/Project coordinator, document their stay, and embrace the good professional operations in place at the University of Borås. This he said, would enable EASLIS to address the requirements and re-plan where necessary for the benefit of the 2nd cohort and further improve its international relations. “Take the many great things from Makerere University to Borås and come back with only good practices from Borås to Makerere University” Prof. Obura remarked.
Mr. Richard Batte (Project coordinator) briefed them on the project expectations and encouraged them to heed the advice of Prof. Okello-Obura as he wished them a safe journey.”This opportunity will be very beneficial to you. I know it’s your first time to travel out of Uganda, but it is important to be humble, embrace and learn the culture,” said Richard Batte.
Dr. Joyce Bukirwa also chipped in and encouraged them to make sure that they attend all the classes (physically and online) and take the opportunity to interact and network for the many opportunities that will be made available to them.
Representing the International Office, Makerere University was Ms. Martha Muwanguzi who congratulated the students for this impressive achievement and asked them to fully utilize this opportunity to seek knowledge and establish life long partnerships as mentees or mentors.
In closing Assoc. Prof. Agnes Rwashana (Deputy Principal, CoCIS) congratulated the East African School of Library and Information Sciences for winning the Erasmus grant and making the effort to collaborate with international universities. She also congratulated the students for being selected and asked them to embrace all the advice given by the Dean, Project coordinator and the rest of the team. Most importantly she advised them to take the opportunity seriously for it might never come again.
Speaking on behalf of the students Mr. Ssemogerere Abubaker (BLIS, Student team leader) thanked the EASLIS management and staff for the opportunity of a lifetime. He asked EASLIS staff for their prayers as they embark on this new journey in their lives and promised they would represent EASLIS and Makerere University in a positive light.
Project PIs & Accountants Urged to follow Budget Controls, Approval Structures & Policies
Principal Investigators (PIs), research assistants and accountants in the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on 23rd November 2023 were equipped with knowledge and skills on Accountability protocols to increase their knowledge on managing funds.
The half-day blended Workshop which attracted 30 participants was officially opened by the Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana and facilitated by the Manager Accounts and Reports Makerere University Mr. Lubowa S. Gyaviira and the Team Leader, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Mr. Tom Vok Elwana.
The training highlighted the common accountability challenges, accountability procedures and approvals and submission of accountability reports.
Noting delays in accountabilities, Prof. Oyana said, he would like to see the college conduct research and grow big rather than being blacklisted by development partners and donors.
The Principal said, the college has established itself in four principle areas of research where it draws credibility namely; the Sensing Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction research and Information seeking research.
He observed that sometimes researchers under estimate the reasons to be financially knowledgeable and hence the need for the training.
“Everything happens because of money. If you are a poor manager of your money, then, you cannot pursue the activities you set. So, financial responsibilities and discipline are very important if you are to be a good negotiator”, He said.
Motivated by the need to build a system that is prudent and robust and building an inclusive place to learn, work and succeed, Prof. Oyana shared his experience of what he has learnt as critical.
“First of all, know your financial status and spend within those limits. Never destroy someone’s credibility. I also recommend responsible financial discipline and not to go by peer pressure.
The minute you indicate a budget, you have controls. You don not shift budget items from other controls. If you want to spend and move items that are 10% and above, you need to get permission from the treasury”, Oyana advised.
The Principal also advised researchers to learn and follow the approval structures and policies, stick to their values and ethics and, ensure funds are used for intended activities. He advised scientists to strive for excellence and make good returns to those that entrust them with the resources.
Prof. Oyana extended the call for discipline in the laboratories on grounds that laboratories run on ethics and honesty. He stressed that it is good practice to follow scientific evidence because Science does not depend on rumours but on data and evidence.
Oyana also urged every researcher to have a research gap, be visionary and ensure laboratories have good practices and procedures and, provide data and scientific evidence to back hypotheses.
He reminded researchers that the primary duty of research is contributing to the body of knowledge and secondly to train and mentor young scientists to contribute to their knowledge.
Accountability procedures and approvals
Giving an overview of Accountability procedures and approvals, Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira represented by Mr. Tom Elwana underscored the need for researchers to know the regulations for accountability when planning.
Key Accountability procedures as extracted from relevant laws, policies and procedures that govern public financial management include but not limited to; Public Finance Management Act 2015; Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act; Treasury Instructions 2017 and; Makerere University Financial Manual 2014.
Elwana said accountability helps to establish whether the funds advanced were used for the intended purpose and whether all documentation relating to the accountability was presented for review.
Section 10 paragraph 10.20.11 and 10.20.12 of the Treasury Instructions, 2017, requires all advances to be retired as soon as the necessity for their use ceases to exist or within sixty (60) days upon completion of the activity or by closure of business of the last working day of the financial year in which the advance was issued.
“The Makerere University Financial Procedures Manual 2014 under section 4.6.4 enjoins staff to account for all advances received within 14 days of the completion of the activity and in any case not later than 60 days.
Failure to comply with standing instructions leads to the withholding further advances; Recovery from payroll; and or Disciplinary action in accordance with laid down procedures”, he said.
Elwana explained that staff advanced funds should follow the accountability and approval process from the unit accountant to the Internal Audit/examinations and compliance office which delivers to the Secretary Directorate of Internal Audit, who shall ensure it is stamped received, recorded in the register.
He said, a report for accountability must be attached and receipts indicating clearly amount of advance being accounted for while outstanding advances at end of year will be posted to the general ledger to make up the funds balance.
“Balances on advances not utilized at the end of the work/research should be surrendered to the Head of accounts and a receipt should be issued.
Failure to submit accountability will necessitate refund of all unaccounted for funds by the implementer.
After clearance of all accounted funds, a Journal Voucher (JV) is issued to show clearance of total amount accounted for,” Elwana emphasized
Submission of projects to GAMSU, a MUST for implementation of any activity
Elwana told researchers that all project PIs must not only register their projects and budgets with the Makerere University Grant Administration, Management and Support Unit (GAMSU) but also submit quarterly reports to this unit.
“GAMSU has an application and is calling upon PIs to submit their projects for capturing in their data. Failure to be captured, they may not implement their activities”, Elwana warned
Makerere University established GAMSU, which is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all projects and grants within the university. This measure, Elwana explained, was an agreement with Government to allow the university oversee and receive the grants instead of the funds going directly to the consolidated fund.
The key responsibility of GAMSU is to ensure that reporting is streamlined within the university. GAMSU requires quarterly accountability reports from all grants and projects.
Submission of all budgets by all projects and grants is also mandatory as part of the accountability reports required by the University and Government.
As a matter of emphasis, on submission of accountability reports, PIs were advised to pay attention to their MoUs since different funders have different requirements.
Detailed presentations from the training follow below.
ICT Bootcamp for Vacists (P7, S4 & S6), Students & General Public
Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT training, research and consultancy Centre in Makerere University and the region. The College runs a Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), through which the College addresses various industrial challenges, like skills development, incubation of new ideas and nurturing of new technology-based business.
CiPSD has organised an ICT Bootcamp to equip participants with hands-on tech skills. Practical sessions are open to vacists (P.7, S.4 and S.6), Students and the general public.
DURATION : 2 Weeks – Instructor Led (Hands-on practical training)
Start Dates : 20th/11/2023 (P.7 & S.4 ) | 04th/12/2023 (S.6 & Others)
CERTIFICATE : Each participant will receive a certificate at the end of the training
BOOTCAMP REGISTRATION LINK : https://bitly.ws/X9kv
TARGET AUDIENCE :
- Vacists (P.7, S.4 & S.6)
- Anyone interested in acquiring hands-on tech skills.
- Microsoft Office Suite, Internet & Online Collaboration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Programming/Dynamic Website Design, – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Graphics Design & Image Editing – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Networking & Systems Administration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computer Repair & Software Maintenance – 100,000/= (2 weeks)
- 3D Computer Animation – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computerised Accounting – 350,000/= (3 weeks)
PAYMENT PROCEDURE: To book your slot, go to the Accounts Office, CIT Block A, Level 2, and get a reference number. Proceed to any nearest bank and deposit training fees.
The Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CIPSD)
Block A – Front Office/Block B, Level 5
College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)
Tel: +256 753 200013/ +256 392 000180 / +256 782 512897
CoCIS CIPSD Short Courses Nov, Dec 2023 & Jan 2024
Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT Training, Research and Consultancy Centre in Makerere University. The College has six Academic departments comprising of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Networks, Department of Information Technology, Department of Information Systems, Department of Library and Information Sciences, and the Department of Records and Archives management.
In addition to the mainstream degree programmes, C0CIS has a specialized Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development CIPSD) which delivers state-of-art training in ICT e.g. the Cisco Networking Academy for Cisco related courses, the Microsoft IT Academy Program for Microsoft related courses, International Computer Driving License course, Oracle Certified Training center for Oracle, Linux and Unix Training center. The College is also an authorized Testing center, operating under PearsonVUE and Kryterion. Listed in the table below are the courses currently offered at the Center with their next start dates, duration, and cost.
- For SENIOR 4 & 6 VACISTS at affordable fees.
- Utilize your vacation and achieve an international certificate to help your future career and stand out from the crowd.
- Nov 2023 / Jan 2024 / April 2024 / July 2024 (For all courses)
Tel: +256 392 000 180
Mob: +256 782 512 897
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