Council Members led by the Chair Mrs. Lorna Magara have commended the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) for the practical training and churning out graduates that have made immense contribution to the digitalization of government, private institutions and businesses processes.
The University Council now wants CoCIS to tender in a proposal through management on how the college can help the digitalization of the university processes including students’ records, attendance, information system and, a feedback system
The college leadership welcomed the task and pledged to revitalize some of the applications it had evolved, for example, the prototype for attendance system and others and to follow up with Council Chairperson.
Council members visited CoCIS on Thursday 3rd March 2023 to familiarize themselves with what the college does, how it does, the key milestones and its contribution to the vision of Makerere University among others.
In a meeting held at the conference, room in Block A the Principal CoCIS Prof. Tonny Oyana highlighted how the college was contributing to the university’s Strategic Plan, Uganda’s National Development Plan, the Human Resource Development plan and Vision 2040.
Professor Oyana highlighted the success story in research, innovations and in teaching by building cases where the college has been successful in research like Google that is helping the college in transforming Uganda and the whole of East Africa through the AirQo project.
AirQo is project led by Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha that has developed devices that measure the air quality. Prof. Bainomugisha has worked with several government agencies like NEMA, KCCA and across borders in many other African cities where the devices have been installed.
Other innovations highlighted include the smart bee hive for monitoring bees in East Africa, the students Ntaasa emergency system, and the devise to aid the blind to move without aid that have won international recognitions and awards.
“The contribution we make is in automation and building applications that are relevant in different sectors of agriculture and environment health, transport and businesses and general services and areas important in the country.
We are going to do intentional targeting for desired outcomes that meet our strategic goals and those of the university, and the country”, Professor Oyana asserted.
Prof Oyana appreciated Council members for Identifying and amplifying the message of the work done and expressed gratitude for the positive feedback from council.
“We are grateful for the visit. Whenever a visitor comes and gives feedback, it is good because it is a mirror that reflects what we need to do better and in which areas we need to improve and we are committed to the vision of Makerere of a research-led university”, Prof. Oyana said.
Council members noted that generally there is low appetite for Information Technology in Uganda partly due to high illiteracy and implored the college to come up with interventions that can help the university and country to fight vices such as corruption on grounds that many of the government initiatives have not succeeded.
Council members also implored CoCIS to utilize its space and address the onlinisation to promote distance and online education in Uganda.
The Chairperson Council Mrs. Lorna Magara underscored the role of technology and the competencies in the college that must be tapped into.
“We want to see a way to track the process of teaching and learning, set a system that can help monitor the quality of teaching that take place in the university in terms of student’s records, results, examinations, a system that tracks submitted marks and where they are. We need a system that can help us to get students feedback in real time” Mrs. Magara submitted.
Mrs. Magara asked the college to submit a proposal to council through management to Council.
“Present a proposal on how you are going to engage with the university community. We will do our best to support you because digitalization is one of the core areas of Council and the college is critical. We want to see increased level of visibility and engagement with the university and management”, Mrs. Magara emphasized.
The Head, Department on Computer Science Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha reported that the School has worked with government institutions in Africa and developed tools that measure air quality.
Prof. Bainomugisha explained that the role of the school is not only to help the university improve the university processes but also help government and other stakeholders address their digital needs.
“Practically where the future is pointing, a lot of services are going digital. We request for support for training the human resources to enhance practical teaching at the university”. Prof. Bainomugisha requested.
The Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology Dr. Joseph Balikuddembe said, although the college has the expertise and ready to support the digitalization process, there is need for management to streamline the mandate of university units.
He clarified that for a harmonious working relation, the boundaries for the College of Computing and Information Sciences and that of the Directorate for ICT Support (DICTS) need to be clear to avoid overstepping and going to loggerheads.
Project PIs & Accountants Urged to follow Budget Controls, Approval Structures & Policies
Principal Investigators (PIs), research assistants and accountants in the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on 23rd November 2023 were equipped with knowledge and skills on Accountability protocols to increase their knowledge on managing funds.
The half-day blended Workshop which attracted 30 participants was officially opened by the Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana and facilitated by the Manager Accounts and Reports Makerere University Mr. Lubowa S. Gyaviira and the Team Leader, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Mr. Tom Vok Elwana.
The training highlighted the common accountability challenges, accountability procedures and approvals and submission of accountability reports.
Noting delays in accountabilities, Prof. Oyana said, he would like to see the college conduct research and grow big rather than being blacklisted by development partners and donors.
The Principal said, the college has established itself in four principle areas of research where it draws credibility namely; the Sensing Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction research and Information seeking research.
He observed that sometimes researchers under estimate the reasons to be financially knowledgeable and hence the need for the training.
“Everything happens because of money. If you are a poor manager of your money, then, you cannot pursue the activities you set. So, financial responsibilities and discipline are very important if you are to be a good negotiator”, He said.
Motivated by the need to build a system that is prudent and robust and building an inclusive place to learn, work and succeed, Prof. Oyana shared his experience of what he has learnt as critical.
“First of all, know your financial status and spend within those limits. Never destroy someone’s credibility. I also recommend responsible financial discipline and not to go by peer pressure.
The minute you indicate a budget, you have controls. You don not shift budget items from other controls. If you want to spend and move items that are 10% and above, you need to get permission from the treasury”, Oyana advised.
The Principal also advised researchers to learn and follow the approval structures and policies, stick to their values and ethics and, ensure funds are used for intended activities. He advised scientists to strive for excellence and make good returns to those that entrust them with the resources.
Prof. Oyana extended the call for discipline in the laboratories on grounds that laboratories run on ethics and honesty. He stressed that it is good practice to follow scientific evidence because Science does not depend on rumours but on data and evidence.
Oyana also urged every researcher to have a research gap, be visionary and ensure laboratories have good practices and procedures and, provide data and scientific evidence to back hypotheses.
He reminded researchers that the primary duty of research is contributing to the body of knowledge and secondly to train and mentor young scientists to contribute to their knowledge.
Accountability procedures and approvals
Giving an overview of Accountability procedures and approvals, Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira represented by Mr. Tom Elwana underscored the need for researchers to know the regulations for accountability when planning.
Key Accountability procedures as extracted from relevant laws, policies and procedures that govern public financial management include but not limited to; Public Finance Management Act 2015; Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act; Treasury Instructions 2017 and; Makerere University Financial Manual 2014.
Elwana said accountability helps to establish whether the funds advanced were used for the intended purpose and whether all documentation relating to the accountability was presented for review.
Section 10 paragraph 10.20.11 and 10.20.12 of the Treasury Instructions, 2017, requires all advances to be retired as soon as the necessity for their use ceases to exist or within sixty (60) days upon completion of the activity or by closure of business of the last working day of the financial year in which the advance was issued.
“The Makerere University Financial Procedures Manual 2014 under section 4.6.4 enjoins staff to account for all advances received within 14 days of the completion of the activity and in any case not later than 60 days.
Failure to comply with standing instructions leads to the withholding further advances; Recovery from payroll; and or Disciplinary action in accordance with laid down procedures”, he said.
Elwana explained that staff advanced funds should follow the accountability and approval process from the unit accountant to the Internal Audit/examinations and compliance office which delivers to the Secretary Directorate of Internal Audit, who shall ensure it is stamped received, recorded in the register.
He said, a report for accountability must be attached and receipts indicating clearly amount of advance being accounted for while outstanding advances at end of year will be posted to the general ledger to make up the funds balance.
“Balances on advances not utilized at the end of the work/research should be surrendered to the Head of accounts and a receipt should be issued.
Failure to submit accountability will necessitate refund of all unaccounted for funds by the implementer.
After clearance of all accounted funds, a Journal Voucher (JV) is issued to show clearance of total amount accounted for,” Elwana emphasized
Submission of projects to GAMSU, a MUST for implementation of any activity
Elwana told researchers that all project PIs must not only register their projects and budgets with the Makerere University Grant Administration, Management and Support Unit (GAMSU) but also submit quarterly reports to this unit.
“GAMSU has an application and is calling upon PIs to submit their projects for capturing in their data. Failure to be captured, they may not implement their activities”, Elwana warned
Makerere University established GAMSU, which is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all projects and grants within the university. This measure, Elwana explained, was an agreement with Government to allow the university oversee and receive the grants instead of the funds going directly to the consolidated fund.
The key responsibility of GAMSU is to ensure that reporting is streamlined within the university. GAMSU requires quarterly accountability reports from all grants and projects.
Submission of all budgets by all projects and grants is also mandatory as part of the accountability reports required by the University and Government.
As a matter of emphasis, on submission of accountability reports, PIs were advised to pay attention to their MoUs since different funders have different requirements.
Detailed presentations from the training follow below.
ICT Bootcamp for Vacists (P7, S4 & S6), Students & General Public
Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT training, research and consultancy Centre in Makerere University and the region. The College runs a Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), through which the College addresses various industrial challenges, like skills development, incubation of new ideas and nurturing of new technology-based business.
CiPSD has organised an ICT Bootcamp to equip participants with hands-on tech skills. Practical sessions are open to vacists (P.7, S.4 and S.6), Students and the general public.
DURATION : 2 Weeks – Instructor Led (Hands-on practical training)
Start Dates : 20th/11/2023 (P.7 & S.4 ) | 04th/12/2023 (S.6 & Others)
CERTIFICATE : Each participant will receive a certificate at the end of the training
BOOTCAMP REGISTRATION LINK : https://bitly.ws/X9kv
TARGET AUDIENCE :
- Vacists (P.7, S.4 & S.6)
- Anyone interested in acquiring hands-on tech skills.
- Microsoft Office Suite, Internet & Online Collaboration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Programming/Dynamic Website Design, – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Graphics Design & Image Editing – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Networking & Systems Administration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computer Repair & Software Maintenance – 100,000/= (2 weeks)
- 3D Computer Animation – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computerised Accounting – 350,000/= (3 weeks)
PAYMENT PROCEDURE: To book your slot, go to the Accounts Office, CIT Block A, Level 2, and get a reference number. Proceed to any nearest bank and deposit training fees.
The Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CIPSD)
Block A – Front Office/Block B, Level 5
College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)
Tel: +256 753 200013/ +256 392 000180 / +256 782 512897
CoCIS CIPSD Short Courses Nov, Dec 2023 & Jan 2024
Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT Training, Research and Consultancy Centre in Makerere University. The College has six Academic departments comprising of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Networks, Department of Information Technology, Department of Information Systems, Department of Library and Information Sciences, and the Department of Records and Archives management.
In addition to the mainstream degree programmes, C0CIS has a specialized Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development CIPSD) which delivers state-of-art training in ICT e.g. the Cisco Networking Academy for Cisco related courses, the Microsoft IT Academy Program for Microsoft related courses, International Computer Driving License course, Oracle Certified Training center for Oracle, Linux and Unix Training center. The College is also an authorized Testing center, operating under PearsonVUE and Kryterion. Listed in the table below are the courses currently offered at the Center with their next start dates, duration, and cost.
- For SENIOR 4 & 6 VACISTS at affordable fees.
- Utilize your vacation and achieve an international certificate to help your future career and stand out from the crowd.
- Nov 2023 / Jan 2024 / April 2024 / July 2024 (For all courses)
Tel: +256 392 000 180
Mob: +256 782 512 897
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