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Buzzibwera SSS Students Visit Makerere University for Career Guidance

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It was a moment of joy for Advanced level students from Buzzibwera Senior Secondary School to visit Makerere University, an institution that they would love to join to pursue higher education studies.

On 28th February 2022 at 8:30 am, Advanced level students from Buzzibwera Senior Secondary School visited Makerere University for career guidance, gaining a deeper understanding about the admission process, and to have an experience of life at campus!

The students accompanied by their Career and Guidance teachers Ms. Rachael Nakazinga and Ms. Florence Namugga were received by Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Principal Public Relations Officer of Makerere University.

Welcoming the students, Ms. Namisango informed the students that they were visiting Makerere University at a time when this great institution was celebrating 100 years of existence (1922-2022).  “Your educational tour/visit is very special to us. You are our prospective students. This University started in 1922 with only 14 students. It continued to grow because secondary schools would teach students who would enroll at the University. I take note that you are Advanced level students, who are on a journey that will soon lead you to universities.”

The Principal PRO, Makerere University-Ms. Ritah Namisango (Right) with Buzzibwera SS Career and Guidance teacher Ms. Rachel Nakazinga (4th Right) and her students outside the Main University Library during their visit. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

Ms. Namisango informed the students that the University administration would be very happy if they joined Makerere University. She advised the students to work towards getting the best grades.

 “To join Makerere University, you must excel. Your teachers will do their part, but you need to double the efforts to do your part so that you excel.  I advise you dear students to focus on your studies, participate in debates, group discussions and seminars,actively engage the respective subject teachers, and be disciplined,” she said.

In line with the students’ desire to have an experience of life at campus, Ms. Namisango conducted a tour focusing on key University spaces and facilities including Makerere University Central Teaching Facility 1 that houses the University Administration and lecture spaces, the Senate Building, Freedom Square, the Main Library and among others.

According to Ms. Rachael Nakazinga, the Career and Guidance teacher, the education visit to Makerere University provides exposure to the students and provokes them to worker harder with raised and focused ambitions.

Ms. Namisango then led the students to Makerere University Senate Conference Hall for the Career Guidance session. The students were blessed to receive an informative education tutorial from Mr. Charles Ssentongo, the Deputy Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions and Records) under the Department of the Academic Registrar.

Buzzibwera Senior School students during their visit to Makerere University. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

Mr. Ssentongo emphasized the need for students and teachers to understand the subject combinations and the courses/academic programme that one can pursue at Makerere University.

“If you desire to be an engineer, a teacher, computer scientist, medical doctor, a nurse, an entrepreneur, a business analyst, the subject combination is very essential. The subject combination determines the academic programme that you will pursue at the University. When you undertake that particular programme, study and excel, you can then become the person you desire to be with respect to career options.”

During the highly interactive session, each student mentioned his or her subject combination. The students were also requested to mention three (3) choices following the order of preference of what they would like to become in future. This exercise revealed to Mr. Ssentongo that students needed further grounding on aligning subject combinations to the academic programmes that they would like to pursue as well as their dream jobs/career paths. After an in-depth and interactive session on subject combinations, Mr. Ssentongo then highlighted the weighting system for the respective academic programmes/courses that the prospective students preferred, admission criteria and the avenues including Government sponsorship on National Merit, the private sponsorship scheme as well as the district quota.

Mr. Ssentongo informed the students that he is a living example of a student who studied from a middle range school (not those very powerful schools that you always mention), but he worked hard and joined Makerere University.

“We have students who studied from ‘middle range’ schools, excelled and joined Makerere University. I am one of them,” said Mr. Ssentongo.

He added: “You just need to be focused and have a dream that you can execute using your ability and having interest in what you want to do at the University. Some academic programmes like engineering require talents, so you must have the talent. Then the personality, can your personality handle your particular dream job/career. We have seen people with personalities that cannot take them where they want.”

Mr. Charles Ssentongo, Deputy Registrar Undergraduate Admissions and Records, Makerere University briefing students in the Senate Conference Hall. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

“For example you may want to be a midwife but when your personality cannot handle a pregnant woman; you want to become a lawyer, but you don’t want to talk during discussions at school; you may want to be a teacher, but you are very shy and you do not want to talk to people.” Ssentongo said.

Responding to a request from one of the students to explain the district quota entry scheme further, Ms. Namisango revealed that to qualify you must have been born in that particular district and also studied your Advanced level from that district. “For example, if you are studying at Buzzibwera S.S.S, to qualify for the district quota, you should have been born in Luwero and studied your Advanced level in one of the schools located in Luwero District.”

To inspire the students further, Ms. Namisango invited Mr. Alex Mugalu-a student of Makerere University who has recently completed a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication (a four-year study programme) to share his experiences.

“Like the previous speakers namely Mr. Ssentongo and Ms. Namisango, my message is simple. If you work hard, convince your brain and mind that you should join Makerere University, develop a positive attitude towards education, you will make it. I studied my Advanced level from Kololo High School and I joined Makerere University to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication. It is one of those academic programmes in the humanities, where you are required to have good grades to get an admission letter,” he said.

Mr. Mugalu also recalled the vivid memories when while in Advanced level (S.5 and S.6) at Kololo High School, he would walk through the Makerere University campus via the swimming pool, and he would assure himself (talking to himself) that he would one day make it and study at Makerere University.  Living true to his dream, he joined Makerere University, he has completed the Bachelor of Journalism and Communication, he is looking forward to his graduation.

Giving a vote of thanks, Ms. Agnes Nabatyanga-a Senior Six student appreciated Mr. Ssentongo and Ms. Namisango for sharing with them the right information as they pursue their dream of joining Makerere University. On behalf of the students, Ms. Nabatyanga said they were not only pleased that they were able to be at Makerere University, but had received knowledge crucial in choosing academic programmes, developing a positive attitude and determining their destiny. She appealed to the Almighty God to bless Makerere University and to grant the students from Buzzibwera S.S.S the required wisdom so that they excel and join Makerere University.

Written by: Mak Public Relations Office

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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution

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The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative

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By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23

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The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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