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EASHESD hosts Prof. Keet Lecture on Critical University Studies

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The East African School of Higher Education Studies and Development (EASHESD) on Friday 27th January 2023 hosted Prof. André Keet, who gave a lecture on Advancing Critical University Studies across Africa.

Prof. Keet is the Research Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) and is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Transformation at Nelson Mandela University.

The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga represented the Vice Chancellor at the public lecture by Prof. Keet.
The Principal CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga represented the Vice Chancellor at the public lecture by Prof. Keet.

Critical University Studies (CUS) is an approach to the study of university that critically explores the taken-for-granted assumptions of higher education. The study seeks to examine other ways of addressing issues in the university. “When you critique your institution, you are making it better,” Prof. Keet said.

Prof. Keet said there are divergent traditions and views about CUS. One such tradition says Institutional CUS is founded on the premise of a fundamental change in the ontology of the University from the onset of global neoliberalism in the 1990’s.

Prof. André Keet delivers his lecture on Advancing Critical University Studies across Africa.
Prof. André Keet delivers his lecture on Advancing Critical University Studies across Africa.

There was, according to this view, a time when the University was a utopic space and criticism ought to work towards that realising that utopia once more.

According to Prof. Keet, another ‘tradition’ of critical work in the University can be traced to critical pedagogy, decolonial studies, and critical internationalization studies.  There has always been a critical tradition, one which acknowledges the University was never a utopic space, but always exclusionary and unjust.

Prof. André Keet poses for a group photo with participants at the Makerere@100 Monument after the public lecture.
Prof. André Keet poses for a group photo with participants at the Makerere@100 Monument after the public lecture.

The Abolitionist University Studies scholars argue, therefore, that for CUS to be truly emancipatory and meaningful, these traditions must be acknowledged and built upon.

Prof. Keet has established a network to advance CUS. The network is called CriSHET.

While addressing the participants, the Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, who also represented the Vice Chancellor called on the scholars to crtically think about how we can better our education system. He argued that with the privatization of education in Uganda, we had many universities opening up and with that came many students that are not up to the task and yet universities have to groom these students. He called for critical ways in which this training can be done. “How come our education was able to produce the Kenneth Kaunda, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Nelson Mandela and the like, yet today the people leaving the university are corrupt, selfish individuals? We need to rethink our education,” he said.

Prof. André Keet (L) and Dr. Jude Ssempebwa (R) chat as they take in the sights around the Makerere@100 Monument.
Prof. André Keet (L) and Dr. Jude Ssempebwa (R) chat as they take in the sights around the Makerere@100 Monument.

Dr. Jude Ssempebwa, who organized the public lecture said the topic was important for it allows people to think of new ways to solve challenges within the university and education sector at large.

Brief Profile of Prof André Keet

Prof. Keet currently holds the Research Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) and is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Transformation at Nelson Mandela University. He is a former Visiting Professor at the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, UK and the 2018 Marsha Lilien Gladstein Visiting Professor of Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

Prof. Keet served as Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and on the Commission for Gender Equality, before joining the university sector. Since entering the higher education field, André has held professorial positions at the universities of Pretoria, Fort Hare and Free State. He has been serving as transformation advisor and practitioner in various capacities in the sector.

Prof. Keet’s research and post-graduate supervision focus on radical approaches to the study of higher education, such as critical and abolitionist university studies.

Education

Call for Papers: Makerere University Journal of Research and Innovations in Teacher Education (RITE)

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The Principal CEES-Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (Left), Principal PRO-Ms. Ritah Namisango (2nd Right) with Staff as well as Secondary School Teachers and Students at the Youth and Innovation Expo, 6th-7th October 2023, Makerere University. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University Journal of Research and Innovations in Teacher Education (RITE) is now accepting submissions for its special issue to be published in August 2024. RITE Journal covers a wide range of topics within teacher education, including but not limited to:

  • Innovative pedagogies in Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and University Teacher Education
  • Studies on Emerging Technologies in Education (ETs).
  • Capacity building and Continuous Professional Development (CPDs) for teachers and teacher educators
  • Education Policy Reviews

Journal Information:

  • Publication Model: RITE Journal is published both in print and online versions.
  • Publishing Formats: Accepted formats include PDF, EPUB, and HTML.
  • Publication Frequency: Bi-annually.
  • Peer Review Model: Double-Blind Review.
  • Indexed in: Google Scholar, Web of Science, and ERIC.

Author Information:

For submission guidelines, please visit the Author Information page: https://rite.mak.ac.ug/for-authors

Journal Statistics:

Acceptance Rate: The average first decision on papers is in 15 days, and the average final decision on peer-reviewed papers is in 45 days.

Sponsors and Affiliated Institutions:

The RITE Journal’s scholarship is supported by funding from:

For submission of articles and more details about the journal, please visit the submission portal: https://rite.mak.ac.ug.

Contact Information:

Publisher: Makerere University Institute of Teacher Education and Research (MITER).
E-mail: rite@mak.ac.ug
Alt e-mail: miter@mak.ac.ug

Deadline for Submissions:

Please submit your articles by 30th April to be considered for the special issue in August 2024

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Education

CHAKITAU calls for directive to make Kiswahili compulsory

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Participants in the Conference march around the Main Campus. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The association of Kiswahili speakers in Uganda through their umbrella body, CHAKITAU, have asked the government to pass a directive making the language compulsory in schools and higher institutions.

CHAKITAU is a Swahili word which stands for Chama Cha Kiswahili Cha Taifa Cha Uganda.

The members said if Kiswahili is integrated in teaching and learning at all levels, Uganda will then realize the East African Community goals and objectives.

 Dr Levi Masereka Kahaika, a lecturer of Kiswahili at Makerere, said the government should think about introducing the language at nursery level.

The Guest of Honour, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke (Right) at the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

This he believes will make learning Kiswahili easy since it is believed the learning rate among children is higher than their older counterparts.

“Our research revealed that if a child is introduced to a language when he/she is still young, chances are high they will speak it fluently,” Dr Masereka said.

He further noted that a child is capable of learning six languages at a time, and Kiswahili should be prioritized alongside English, the official language.

“At the regional level, we are talking about free movement and free residency so we need to start now and everyone learns Kiswahili since it unites the East African Community,’ Dr Masereka said.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Kiswahili speakers raised the concern during the 17th annual Kiswahili conference which was held at Makerere University from 23rd to 24th March, 2024.

The conference was graced by students taking Kiswahili language at higher institutions of learning lead by Makerere University, the host institution, Kyambogo University, Metropolitan International University, Bishop Stuart University, Mountains of the Moon University, Uganda Martyrs University, and Pentecostal University among others.

Schools including St Kizito SS Bugolobi, St Joseph Naggalama, Archbishop Kiwanuka Masaka, and Kampala Parents’ school among others also participated.

Some of the participants included students from various universities. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, the Head of the Department of Humanities and Language Education at Makerere University officiated at the conference on the opening day as the guest of honour.

In his remarks, Dr Kiggundu said despite the integration of Kiswahili in the Ordinary level curriculum, many teachers have remained unemployed, posing a risk to the future of the language in Uganda.

He asked the government to reconsider recruiting Bachelor’s degree holders saying the majority of the recent teachers recruited on government payroll were diploma holders.

“Government recruited diploma holders to teach students in lower secondary leaving out the bachelor’s teachers, most of whom are on the streets of Kampala searching for jobs,” Dr Kiggundu said.

He noted that since Kiswahili was introduced at Makerere University, they have passed out 40 percent of Kiswahili teachers in the country but only 10 percent have since secured jobs.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Kiggundu asked the government to take immediate action and have those idle teachers deployed in schools countrywide to enable them spread the language to other parts of the country.

Dr Boaz Mutungi, the vice president of CHAKITAU, expressed worry over Kiswahili being taught in only central and Western schools and institutions.

“All universities in the North and Eastern don’t offer Kiswahili as one of the subjects in schools,” Dr Mutundi said.

He asked the government to absorb the available teachers and put them in vacant schools and institutions.

According to the statistics presented by CHAKITAU as of 2024, they have a total of 2,401 teachers as registered members of the association but 2,056 of them are unemployed.

Pupils perform during the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The statistics further reveal that only 345 teachers are employed by the government countrywide. 57 of these teachers are diploma holders, 23 of them are Master’s degree holders and 19 teachers have Doctorate in Kiswahili (PhD), with one Doctor still unemployed.

The rest of them who are the majority have bachelors from different universities.

Dr Martin Mulei, the patron of CHAWAKANA Uganda, lauded primary and secondary schools that have already started adopting the language policy of teaching Kiswahili.

In 2022, cabinet approved the implementation of the 21st East African Community Summit directive in Uganda to make Kiswahili the official language and they also approved compulsory teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools.

However, the directive worked well in lower secondary schools after making Kiswahili compulsory for seniors one and two.

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Education

Long-Serving Academic Dr. Samuel Siminyu Retires: Fond Farewell from IODEL

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Dr. Samuel Siminyu (2nd Right) flanked by members of his family receives a gift from the Director IODeL, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (Left) at the farewell event. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) has bid farewell to one of its longest serving academics, Dr.  Samuel Ndeda Siminyu. This was at a colorful luncheon on March 27, 2024.  Spiced up with music, dance, food, drinks, jokes, laughter, and nostalgic speeches, the party was attended by the institute’s staff, friends, and colleagues of Uncle Sam, as he has been popularly known.

Colleagues shared memories of Uncle Sam’s dedication to the job, resilience and mentorship. Speaker after speaker underscored his fatherly approach towards handling of both students and fellow staff. “I remember my first travel abroad was with uncle Sam. We suffered several mishaps such as missing the plane, but he kept claiming me down, saying we would hope that all would be well. Indeed, after one month of being abroad, we returned safely. He was and still is like a father to me,” Mr. Kajumbula Richard said.

Dr. Samuel Siminyu serves cake to colleagues during his farewell. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr. Siminyu was also praised for his mastery of the English language.  “Can it be true that Omuwongo Samwiri has clocked retirement? Samwiri remains my legendary wordsmith! I will greatly miss those positive comments about my grammar, word diction, and synthesis! Samwiri is not only brainy but also well cultured, responsible, respectful, amiable, jovial, warm and polished. I am lucky to have known and interacted with Mzee Mangeni (Sr) who fathered these eminent personalities. Samwiri has been my trusted encyclopedia, and it’s sad that he is retiring at such a young age,” another colleague shared.

Another colleague, Mr Arthur Mugisha also added, “Sam was such a perfectionist that nothing would cross his table with any errors, and he appends a signature. I remember him principally teaching me how to write official documents in his office. I would draft, and then we would write together what he would sign. He has such a moral character that everyone would wish to emulate.”.

Left to Right: Dr. Samuel Siminyu, a Guest and Dean School of Distance and Lifelong Learning-Dr. Harriet Nabushawo Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

“Sam was a father figure to many of us who came as young staff. especially me, who never joined Makerere with anyone holding my hand but my performance. If anything was going astray, he would call you and counsel you instead of reprimanding you. For me, that was perfect leadership. I have learnt quite a lot from him, which makes me stand out in my leadership within and outside the department.”

Uncle Sam, as he is known by many in the department, has mentored many staff on matters of student support, managing DE programs, handling students as coordinators, matters of faith, and personal well-being.

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

On his part, Dr. Siminyu thanked IODEL for the love and support shown to him over the year and for the beautiful sendoff. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to mentor and lead others, and he emphasized the importance of continuous learning and growth in leadership. Dr. Siminyu’s legacy of compassionate leadership will continue to inspire those he has mentored for years to come. His dedication to helping others succeed has left a lasting impact on the department, and his wisdom and guidance will be greatly missed. Dr. Siminyu’s legacy will live on through the countless individuals he has influenced throughout his career. He said that he is confident that his mentees will carry on his values and teachings, making a positive impact on their own leadership journeys.

Speaking during the luncheon, Mr. Banadda Godfrey, a member of the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) and also a retiree, shared some insight into what one needs to do pre and post-retirement. 

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Mr Banadda said it was important for one to save money before retirement. This, he said, should be invested in a fixed deposit account or a unit trust so that one is able to enjoy the interest accrued during retirement.

He advised Dr. Siminyu to draw up his own retirement plan, which he said would guide him in the utilization of his money.

“You will need to put in place a plan for cash flow and also have an investment plan for your benefits. Look at investment options like bonds and trust funds,” he emphasized.  

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Don’t delegate the use of your money or enterprise. Invest in ventures you can supervise effectively. Always adjust to your new status quo. Your lifestyle might need to change, so adjust quickly. Don’t live in denial.”

Mr. Banadda advised Dr. Siminyu to continue socializing and also widen his social networks by joining clubs, visiting friends and family, and engaging in regular exercise. 

Cake cutting by Dr. Samuel Siminyu and members of his family as Dr. Harriet Nabushawo (Left) and Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (Right) applaud. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

“Above all of this, enrich your spiritual life, join a church, and pray,” he concluded.  

About Dr. Siminyu

  • BAED 1989 and scored Upper Second
  • MA 1995
  • Joined the Department of Distance Education as a contract staff (Editor) 1995
  • Got Contract appointment for 6 months on 25th January 1996 an Editor
  • He joined with a Masters Degree so he got an appointment as a lecturer on March 11, 1998 a rank he has held until his retirement.
  • He previously served as the head of the Department of Distance Education
  • All through his service at Makerere, he has served as the Head of Materials Development and Distribution Section in the department.
  • Sam has been an expert in curriculum development and review for all the delivered programs in the department (B.Ed/ Ext, B.COX, B.Sc and BARI)
  • He became the interim managing editor of Makerere University Press on June 20, 2022 and made several publications under his watchful eye.
  • Sam was one of the pioneers of online learning at Makerere University. He did his PhD at the University of Liverpool purely online.
  • He has participated in policy formulation and implementation at various levels.

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