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Community Engagements: CEES Trains Students in Entrepreneurship

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With the increase in unemployment in the country, there is need to create jobs among the youth hence the need to acquire entrepreneurship skills.  Entrepreneurship accelerates economic growth by creating new products and services, it stimulates new employment which ultimately results in the acceleration of economic development.

It is to this end that a team of researchers from the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) set out to impart entrepreneurship skills among secondary school children in Universal Secondary Schools.

Dr. Nambi Rebecca (Left) addresses students of Nakanyonyi SS Kalagi.
Dr. Nambi Rebecca (Left) addresses students of Nakanyonyi SS Kalagi.

The team, comprising Dr. Nambi Rebecca, the Principal Investigator, Dr. Badru Musisi, Dr. Victoria Tamale, Dr. Josephine Najemba, Dr. Muhammedi Kaweesi are conducting trainings of students on entrepreneurship. The students from Mityana SS and Nakanyonyi SS Kalagi were trained in book keeping, advertising, branding, customer identification and innovation among other things.

The project titled Imparting Entrepreneurship Skills in Universal Secondary Education Learners through Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion is supported by Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Mityana SS students at the chapati making stand.
Mityana SS students at the chapati making stand.

The researchers also trained the secondary school teachers in preparation for their supervisory roles on the project.

The students in each of the schools were grouped into 5 participants, given starting capital of Shs100,000 and tasked with starting a business within the school.

Mityana SS student entrepreneurs' fruit business.
Mityana SS student entrepreneurs’ fruit business.

Some of the businesses started by students of Mityana SS included;

  1. Pilawo (Rice business)
  2. Fruits Business
  3. Chapati Business
  4. Appetizer (Cooking oil mixed with onions)
Mityana SS students showcase pilawo making skills.
Mityana SS students showcase pilawo making skills.

Some of the businesses started by students of Nakanyonyi SS included;

  1. Sparkling Entertainment Club, a group of students who offer plays, music and dance performances at a fee.
  2. Chosen Bakery Group; These started a business in trading cakes and biscuits
  3. Snack Producers; The group makes and sells Bagiya
  4. Rabbit-Corn Enterprise; This team rears rabbits and also makes pop-corn for sale among other students 
  5. Divine Fruit suppliers; This team of students sells fruits during the lunch time break. Some of the products include water melons, bananas and avocado.
  6. Successful Agriculturalists; who are rearing piglets and hoping to grow the farm.
  7. BMK Mandazi; also trading in doughnuts.
  8. The Ingredients; a group making appetizers for school food.
  9. Munanansi Suppliers; who make pineapple (Munanansi) juice and sell it to teachers and students.
  10. Toasted Bread makers

The project was very successful as students were able start projects, return the capital investment, maintain stock as well as profits.

A student entrepreneur from Nakanyonyi SS Kalagi showcases their fruit business.
A student entrepreneur from Nakanyonyi SS Kalagi showcases their fruit business.

Lessons learnt

The students were happy to have participated in the project and shared some of the skills acquired during the execution of the task.  Some of the skills include, public speaking, negotiation, confidence, critical thinking, persistence, book keeping, customer care, teamwork and innovation among others. 

Dr. Musisi called on the students to continue applying the knowledge acquired in their daily activities and businesses. “Do not lose the connection between what you study in class and what you do in the business,” he emphasized.

The team, which also included Dr. Tamale Victoria was happy to see the progress that the students had made towards actualizing the entrepreneurial ideas and called for continued teamwork in the execution of their businesses. The students will receive certificates after the trainings.

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Imparting Entrepreneurship skills in USE Schools

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Dr. Wandera Stephen (Seated 2nd R), Dr. Rebecca Nambi (Seated 3rd R) and other officials with students from Mityana SS and Nakanyonyi SS at the research dissemination on 10th August 2022, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University.

A team of researchers from the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), who have been undertaking intervention research in an effort to instill Entrepreneurial skill among secondary school children on 10th August 2022 shared the results following a successful implementation period.

 The project, titled Imparting Entrepreneurship skills in Universal Secondary Education Learners through Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion was piloted in two Universal Secondary Education (USE) schools of Mityana SS and Nakanyonyi SS.

The team comprising Dr. Rebecca Nambi, Dr. Badru Musisi, Dr. Tamale Victoria and Dr. Muhammad Kaweesi from Busitema University won a grant under Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) which enabled them undertake this research.

While opening the dissemination workshop, Dr. John Ssentongo, who represented the Principal of CEES congratulated the researchers upon winning the Mak-RIF grant, saying the college was privileged to have won over 10 research projects.

He challenged the students to use the knowledge acquired during the training to utilize it after school.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi, shared with member the kind of training the students received. She said the project was undertaken in an effort to bridge the employment gap in Uganda. Records from UBOS show that Uganda has one of the highest youth unemployment rates. 

Uganda’s Vision 2040largely attributes such high unemployment to the economy’s slow labour absorptive capacity and failure to match skills with labour-market needs. In preparation for the limited job opportunities for the youth, the USE-STEP project equipped Universal Secondary Education (USE) students with action knowledge, skills, and attitude to start and successfully manage their own businesses as a viable employment option.

The research team chose to work with Universal secondary schools because this age group has the highest levels of unemployment. According the a report by United Nations Population Fund about 67% of people aged 14 to18 years are actively looking for jobs while 64% are unemployed. The project is in line with government’s programs designed to promote non-formal skills, start-ups, and youth entrepreneurship to combat unemployment.

The USE-STEP project was premised of the following objectives:

  1. To establish entrepreneurship skills gaps among Nakanyonyi and Mityana SS teachers and students;
  2. To profile the entrepreneurship skilling needs at Mityana Secondary Schools;
  3. To organize STEP training for Mityana and Nakanyonyi Secondary Schools;
  4. To implement STEP training at Mityana and Nakanyonyi Secondary Schools.

The students were trained in Identifying Business Opportunities, Finding Starting Capital, Marketing, Book-Keeping,Managing Finances, Planning & managing plans, Leadership & Strategic Management, Persuasion, Networking, writing a Business Plan and Registering a Business.

The students in each of the schools were grouped into 5 participants, given starting capital of Shs100,000 and tasked with starting a business within the school.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi shares the research findings.
Dr. Rebecca Nambi shares the research findings.

The students, shared some of the business ideas that they generated as well as the challenges they faced. Some of the businesses the students started included;

For Mityana SS;

  1. Pilawo (Rice business)
  2. Fruits Business
  3. Chapati Business
  4. Appetizer (Cooking oil mixed with onions)

Some of the businesses started by students of Nakanyonyi SS included;

  1. Sparkling Entertainment Club, a group of students who offer plays, music and dance performances at a fee.
  2. Chosen Bakery Group; These started a business in trading cakes and biscuits
  3. Snack Producers; The group makes and sells Bagiya
  4. Rabbit-Corn Enterprise; This team rears rabbits and also makes pop-corn for sale among other students 
  5. Divine Fruit suppliers; This team of students sells fruits during the lunch time break. Some of the products include water melons, bananas and ovacado.
  6. Successful Agriculturalists; who are rearing piglets and hoping to grow the farm.
  7. BMK Mandazi; also trading in doughnuts.
  8. The Ingredients; a group making appetizers for school food.
  9. Munanansi Suppliers; who make Munanansi juice and sell it to teachers and students.
  10. Toasted Bread makers

The project was very successful as students were able start projects, return the capital investment, maintain stock as well as profits.

Lessons learnt

The students were happy to have participated in the project and shared some of the skills acquired during the execution of the task.  Some of the skills include, public speaking, negotiation, confidence, critical thinking, persistence, book keeping, customer care, teamwork and innovation among others. 

The start-ups were, however, not without challenges. The escalating prices of commodities greatly affected the businesses, theft of the money was also a challenge the students reported as well as competition of businesses with the school canteens.  

Dr. Wandera Stephen who represented the head of Mak-RIF, Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, commended the team upon completion of their research study and encouraged them to apply for more grants so as to scale up the project to many schools in different regions of the county.

The Representative of the Commissioner of Ministry of education and Sports, Mr David Mugisha, pledged government’s support towards scaling up the project to include more schools. The school administrators, led by Ms Jane Namiiro, the Deputy Head Mistress of Mityana SS thanked Makerere University for skilling the students.

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Education

CEES in Kiboga Community Engagements

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Dr. John Ssentongo and Mr. Stewart Mukiibi from the College of Education and External Studies (Left) hand over a Smart TV to officials of Lwamata Seed School in Kiboga District.

Dr. John Ssentongo and Mr. Stewart Mukiibi from the College of Education and External Studies handed over a Smart TV to officials of Lwamata Seed School in Kiboga District. The device will be used in the teaching of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in laboratories.

Teaching is done using simulations because of the lack of laboratory equipment in some of the Universal Secondary Education (USE) schools in the country.  The team earlier conducted trainings for staff and students on how to use simulations in conducting labs.

The project was carried out in four schools, namely; St. Paul Kayunuzi S.S. Kyotera District, Lwamata Seed School in Kiboga, Kasaka S.S. in Gomba and Nakasoga S.S. in Rakai. The research is funded by Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

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Dr. Ngaka hands over office to Dr. Sanya

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The Principal CEES-Prof. Muwagga Mugagga (3rd R), Deputy Principal CEES-Dr. Ronald Bisaso (L), outgoing Head, Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE)-Dr. Willy Ngaka (3rd L), Incoming Head, DACE-Dr. Rahman Sanya (C) and other officials at the handover ceremony on 30th June 2022, Makerere University.

The outgoing Head of the Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE) in the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning (SoDLL), Dr. Willy Ngaka on June 30, 2022 handed over office to the incoming acting head Dr. Rahman Sanya.

The Principal, Prof. Muwagga Mugagga, thanked Dr. Ngaka for his service and dedication to the Department. He thanked him for his service to the university and wished him well in his career. Dr. Ngaka will continue to serve the country in Kyambogo University. 

Dr. Ngaka in his submission shared with the staff, some of the achievements registered by the department during his tenure. These include; the team DACE constructively engaged with the relevant University authorities to reverse the decision to scrap the Bachelor of Adult and Community Education.

The outgoing HoD shared how his team effectively adapted to the COVID-19 induced online learning and teaching including successfully using the alternative assessment modes to enable students do their university examinations.

Under his leadership, the department established a boardroom for enhancing staff bonding time through formal and informal interactions such as taking tea at a specific time and making lunch time academic presentations. “This has encouraged unity and team spirit among the staff,” Dr. Ngaka said.

The Principal CEES-Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (R) witnesses as Outgoing Head, Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE)-Dr. Willy Ngaka (L) hands over to Incoming Head, DACE-Dr. Rahman Sanya (C) on 30th June 2022.
The Principal CEES-Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (R) witnesses as Outgoing Head, Department of Adult and Community Education (DACE)-Dr. Willy Ngaka (L) hands over to Incoming Head, DACE-Dr. Rahman Sanya (C) on 30th June 2022.

The Department also signed an MoU with the University of Jyvaskyla, University Eastern Finland and College of Business Education in Tanzania to promote research and graduate training as well as staff capacity development.

DACE secured permission from the Vice Chancellor to host the recently created UNESCO/UNITWIN Research Network on literacies, green skilling and capacity development for sustainable communities in Africa which will among others create an andragogy lab.

The department has kick started the review of its programmes as required by the National Council for Higher Education.

Dr. Ngaka’s tenure was however, not without challenges.

The Department has been affected by the 40% cut in the budget that has affected the running of activities.

The Department lacks senior staff, resulting partly from the delays in handling staff appointments and promotions. The Department has its entire staff at the level of Assistant Lecturer.

The Department has seen a drop in enrollment owing to COVID-19 and also the earlier decision to scrap BACE which resulted in late advertising of the programme. Dr. Ngaka hopes that this will change for the better.

Dr. Sanya on his part thanked the University Management for giving him the opportunity to serve his Department. He called for staff support if the college is to consolidate the achievements already realized.

The handover was witnessed by the Principal, Deputy Principal, Human Resources Officer, Communication Officer and a representative from the Directorate of Internal Audit.

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