The Finance Department and Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS) are in the final stages of developing a system to electronically manage the hitherto manual process of generating requisitions and vouchers. Code-named RAVIS (Requisitions and Voucher Information System), the system will upon completion also enable the Finance Department and Management to monitor budget performance and generate reports at the click of a button.
Addressing staff from the Finance Department, DICTS and other units in the Council Room on 28th March 2023, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Henry Alinaitwe commended the Project Coordinator and Manager Accounts and Reporting, Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira upon the progress made on RAVIS. He noted that automation of these processes will facilitate seamless transactions and provide a digital backup of all transactions.
“As a key stakeholder, I want to see this system operational as it will help us to efficiently track balances on various votes, reduce on procurement delays due to missing vouchers and enable the units at the centre to efficiently monitor their budget lines” added Prof. Alinaitwe.
The University Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda commended the initiative and advised that the system should make it as simple as possible for users to attach all supporting documents. He also cautioned the Finance Department Staff at Units to ensure that originators of the requests provide hard copies of the same for reference and future audit purposes.
As with all Information Systems, notifications are generated with each transaction to alert users of the system of pending actions on their part or to update on actions taken. Owing to the number of transactions a system processes, these can turn out to be too numerous to the point of being overwhelming. In light of this, Mr. Kiranda advised the developer DICTS to ensure that all notifications remain on RAVIS and not be sent via email as is the case with some systems.
The University Bursar, Mr. Evarist Bainomugisha welcomed the intervention, noting that it would not only automate but also proved a fallback position in the event damaged or missing physical vouchers. He added that unlike the physical requisitions and vouchers, their digital equivalents will be easier to backup and search in the event of follow-up.
“This system is going to great help us and our hope is that it will be implemented efficiently and effectively. I thank DICTS for stepping forward and working with the Finance Department to develop the system” added the University Bursar.
The Project Coordinator, Mr. Lubowa thanked members of the University Management for sparing time to attend the meeting, noting that development of RAVIS was an important milestone in the University’s financial management initiatives. He added that the system will facilitate the smooth management of budgets, especially for units at the centre where it will be pioneered.
“With this system in place, each unit especially at the centre will be able to monitor its budget performance and quickly address any mischarges or promptly provide any supporting documents that can aid quick processing of requisitions” added Mr. Lubowa.
Representing the Director DICTS, Mr. Samuel Mugabi, the Principal Systems Administrator, Mr. Juma Katongole shared that the system was developed after several interactions with the Finance Department and users at the Colleges. “These back and forth interactions were aimed at ensuring that we have a true record of requirements from the user units so as to develop a fitting system.”
He added that DICTS looked forward to more interactions with users of the system as part of the current baseline assessment of all information systems at Makerere University. DICTS in partnership with some developers from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is at the heart of digital transformation of university business processes. This is one of the core objectives of the Makerere University Strategic plan 2020-2030.
The partnership between DICTS and CoCIS has over the last six years led to the automation of a number of fourteen business processes such as: Human Resource Management, Student Academic Business Management, Student Electoral Business Management, Integrated Financial Management, Electronic Learning Management, Library Business Management, Grants Management, Student Documents Management, Customer Relationship Management, Hospital Business Management, Motor Vehicle Management, Requisitions and Payment Management, Teaching Time Table Management and Alumni Management.
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 1,907 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.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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