The Makerere University Deans Forum (MUDF) on Friday 3rd September, 2021 held a training session during which newly appointed Deans were inducted and the members of the new Executive Committee elected. Organised by the Interim Executive Committee, the training held at Hotel Africana was presided over by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA and Patron MUDF, Dr. Umar Kakumba.
Welcoming both physical and virtual participants to the launch, the Chair of the opening session Dr. Sarah Ssali congratulated the Chairperson of the Interim Executive Committee and Dean School of Public Health (MakSPH), Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze and her team upon the strides made since they volunteered to serve MUDF. She equally thanked the Patron for hatching the MUDF idea and his untiring support to the Interim Executive Committee and individual Deans.
On 14th June 2019, the Office of the DVCAA in collaboration with the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) organised the Inaugural Deans’ Workshop. One of the outcomes of that workshop was the formation of MUDF.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kakumba said that the MUDF was platform for Deans to engage and share experiences for the advancement of research, teaching and learning beyond Senate meetings where the business of the day and formalities cannot permit.
“The objective of MUDF is to promote academic excellence through collective action, capacity building and harnessing each other’s expertise, experiences and best practices” noted Dr. Kakumba. He added that the day’s training would specifically recapture momentum of MUDF that was interrupted by COVID-19, foster implementation of the Forum’s work plan, and build cohesive leadership especially between new Deans and their senior colleagues.
In the training’s first session, Dr. Ronald Naluwairo, Acting Deputy Principal at the School of Law presented the revised constitution of MUDF, which provides for the composition, leadership, functions of the Executive Committee, meetings of the Forum, among other articles.
Under article 4, Dr. Naluwairo outlined the core values of MUDF as; (i) Leadership, (ii) Integrity, (iii) Equality, (iv) Transparency and Accountability, and (v) Solidarity. Equality, he said, was particularly important in ensuring that members have the confidence that their Schools have the same say in Forum matters as their bigger or older peers.
Furthermore, MUDF’s Constitution Article 5 on Leadership makes provision for an Executive Committee that will comprise of “a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and three other members all of whom shall be elected by members of MUDF.”
The constitution was debated by members present both physically and online, and the changes agreed upon will be incorporated into the final document. Members nevertheless unanimously agreed that election to the Executive Committee shall be by simple majority of members voting, an exercise that was conducted at the end of the training to appoint the first office bearers.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America is quoted to have said in 1736. It was in line with these wise words that two Deans who had each served two consecutive terms were asked to share their experiences in delivering on their mandate.
Prof. Johnny Mugisha the outgoing Dean (2013-2021) of the School of Agricultural Sciences shared that his leadership on the whole brought good feelings that he looked forward to.
“I always felt good to see staff getting promoted, winning research grants and other awards, graduate students passing their viva voce examinations especially at PhD level, and students graduating in large numbers” remarked Prof. Mugisha.
He shared a few pointers on how to maintain this ‘good feeling’ as highlighted below.
- Deanship is full-time service. Make yourself accessible to staff, students and guests but delegate a lot, especially where circumstances don’t allow
- Strengthen team building activities such as social gatherings and recognise achievers
- Involve each staff in different assignments based on their strengths
- Hold informal interactions with all categories of staff in their offices, corridors, etc.
- Hold formal and informal interactions with students especially those facing challenges
- Establish close working relationships with offices and Managers that are a priority to your School
- Regularly conduct self-assessments on whether you are delivering on your mandate
“Always lead by example; teach, supervise students, do research, publish and manage your time” concluded Prof. Mugisha.
Continuing with the pointers based on his terms of office, Dr. Andrew Ellias State, the Dean School of Social Sciences shared that one of the most taxing responsibilities leaders at this level have to deal with is curriculum review. “Curriculum review is a very tedious process that can take its toll on you. However, I am happy that all the programmes we submitted were considered, reviewed and passed by the National Council for Higher Education.”
He equally cautioned colleagues to always look at examinations as an intricate process with various stages of preparation of scripts, rooms, invigilation all the way to submission of final scores from marking exercises. The latter, he noted, ought to be handled expeditiously as it is one of the triggers of unrest. Dr. State on this note agreed with Prof. Mugisha’s position of maintaining formal and informal interactions with student leaders, as a way of putting out feelers to preempt any unrest.
“Allow yourself to serve outside the School, especially on committees constituted by the university leadership,” Dr. State further advised. “Your service to Makerere University is service to community and the experience you acquire should be shared with colleagues at the School” he added.
Making the day’s final presentation on how to maintain a vibrant grants and partnerships portfolio, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze emphasised the need for Deans to ensure that the pursuit of research funding goes hand in hand with the teaching and learning experience. “You cannot move grants forward if you are neglecting education.”
She explained that students, especially those at graduate level, are in some instances already well-placed in Government and other organisations, whose funded activities could be in line with Schools’ research interests. In this regard, she stressed the need for teaching staff to treat students as assets and prospective collaborators.
Prof. Wanyenze further noted that maintaining a vibrant grants and partnerships portfolio calls for striking a delicate balance between large and small grants, as well as staff’ and funders’ interests. “As Dean, you should be ready to perform the uncomfortable task of asking colleagues, who in some instances might be senior, to step aside from the role of Principal Investigator for the sake of maintaining a good relationship with the funder.”
On how to ensure a good mix of both large and small grants, Prof. Wanyenze asked Deans to deliberately equip everyone in their Schools, particularly the smart young ones with grant proposal writing skills. “At my School, we expanded the base of people bringing in grants by equipping our students with these skills. This paid off when two of them under the mentorship of a colleague won a grant worth 100,000 Canadian Dollars.”
She additionally urged Deans to use their offices to knock on the doors of line ministries and organisations whose work relates to their disciplines. Citing a Memorandum of Understanding signed between MakSPH and the WHO Uganda country office in 2019, Prof. Wanyenze shared that this collaboration born out of a deliberate effort had resulted in 29 projects being conducted between the two institutions in the last three years.
“We ought to partner with our line ministries and community. We need to step out and engage at the highest level and expand our collaboration networks” she concluded.
At the close of the training, a new MUDF Executive Committee was elected in a brief ceremony conducted by Dr. Grace Kibanja. Following a unanimous simple majority vote, the following four officials and three members were elected as the new Executive Committee.
- Chairperson – Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean MakSPH
- Vice Chairperson – Prof. Edward Bbaale, Dean School of Business
- Secretary – Dr. Grace Kibanja, Dean School of Psychology
- Treasurer – Prof. Robert Tweyongyere, Dean School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources
- Member – Dr. Ronald Naluwairo, Ag. Deputy Principal School of Law
- Member – Dr. Gilbert Maiga, Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology
- Member – Dr. Dorothy Okello, Dean School of Engineering
The DVCAA and Patron MUDF, Dr. Umar Kakumba in his concluding remarks thanked the New Executive Committee for accepting the call of duty as well as Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi for his service to the Interim Executive Committee. He requested members of the MUDF to draft a memorandum from the action points raised in the training, which he pledged to present before Senate.
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
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 1,097 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.
General1 week ago
Application Forms for Admission to Public Universities 2024/2025
General1 week ago
African Universities urged on developing comprehensive safeguarding policies with critical elements of safety & protection
Agriculture & Environment1 week ago
Soybean Breeders Deliberate Strategies for Improving Productivity
General5 days ago
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
Engineering, Art & Tech1 week ago
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled