By Ritah Namisango
Commissioning the Makerere University 89th Guild Government under the leadership of H.E. Robert Maseruka, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the newly elected student leaders to uphold dialogue and work with the University Management to deliver services to students.
Prof. Nawangwe, who was represented by Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), made the remark during the swearing-in-ceremony of the 89th Guild leadership held on Monday 24th April 2023 at the Makerere University Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium.
Upon taking the oath, H.E. Robert Maseruka promised to serve in the best interest of Makerere University students and work closely with University Management to ensure that students’ affairs are attended to diligently. Robert Maseruka was sworn-in together with some cabinet members namely Mariat Namiiro (Vice Guild President), Dreamer Elizabeth (Deputy Prime Minister), Kiranda Sharifah (Finance minister), Nyangoma Emmaheart (Minister of Gender), Adron Rodney (Minister of Estates and Production) and Nambazira Patience (Academic Affairs Minister).
The Vice Chancellor congratulated H.E. Robert Maseruka upon being elected the 89th Guild President. Maseruka is a third year student pursuing the Bachelor of Journalism and Communication under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS). Prof. Nawangwe expressed the readiness of the University Management to work with the Guild President and the 89th Students’ Guild to transform livelihoods and society in general. He commended the Chairperson of the Students’ Electoral Commission, Mr. Levi Tshilumba and his team for holding free, fair and peaceful elections. He acknowledged the out-going Guild President, H.E. Lawrence Alionzi for not only steering the 88th Students’ Guild Government, but also handing over power peacefully.
Emphasizing that the university cannot exist without students, the Vice Chancellor highlighted that the University Management would continue to prioritise issues that holistically impact students such as teaching and learning, research and innovations, renovation of Halls of residence, infrastructure development as well as students’ welfare.
He stated that Makerere is a publicly funded University and commended the Government of Uganda for the ongoing construction of the perimeter wall fence to enhance security at the Main Campus, the reconstruction of the Main Building that is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and for committing funds to kick start the renovation of Lumumba and Mary Stuart Halls of Residence.
Commenting on the delay in the release of Living-Out Allowances for government sponsored students, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) said: “The University is adjusting to the normal calendar following disruptions brought about by Covid-19. This financial year, we are going to have three semesters. We have discussed this matter with the Government and we have been assured that the students’ allowances for the third semester are going to be paid.”
On the issue of governance, Prof. Alinaitwe pointed out that the Guild President and Vice Guild President are members of Makerere University Council, the supreme governing body of the University. With this representation, they will be in position to present the interests of the students. Additionally, the Students’ Guild is represented on several university organs and committees including the University Senate and the Students’ Affairs Committee, among others.
The Vice Chancellor advised the Guild President and the entire students’ body to avoid confrontations and violence. He appealed to the Students’ leadership to always uphold dialogue in the management of issues with different stakeholders. “Bring the issues on the table, we discuss them and reach a common position,” he said.
He encouraged the new Guild President, H.E. Robert Maseruka to emulate the out-going Guild President, H.E. Lawrence Alionzi who led the student body in a peaceful manner. “The 88th Students’ Guild upheld peace and worked with the University Management and other organs of the university to execute students’ affairs. Thank you, the 88th Students’ Guild for the commendable job. Thank you for Mr. Lawrence Alionzi for your contribution,” he remarked.
The Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli applauded the outgoing Guild under the leadership of H.E. Lawrence Alionzi for rejuvenating intellectual dialogue among students. She implored the new Guild to embrace dialogue and jointly work with the University administration to leverage Makerere University’s leading position in the provision of higher education services. The Dean of Students pledged to work with the 89th Guild to ensure that students’ concerns are addressed on time.
In his remarks, the outgoing Guild President, Lawrence Alionzi urged the newly elected Guild President, Robert Maseruka to always front the interests of students before those of the political groups and individuals close to him.
“Focus on students. Be careful not to serve the interests of those around you or the political class. At the end of the day what truly matters is that common student who probably has never seen you,” he advised.
One of the dignitaries who came to witness the swearing-in-ceremony, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, Member of Parliament of Nakawa West congratulated H.E. Robert Maseruka upon his victory and tasked him to work for the students. “The students are the ones who have entrusted you with the mandate. So, always prioritise the students.”
Hon. Ssenyonyi encouraged the University administration to always engage the alumni to contribute to some of the development programmes at the University.
The colourful ceremony was graced by the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-Associate Professor Gorettie Nabanoga, University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, the Chaplain of St. Francis Chapel-Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa, Mother of the Guild President-Ms. Nanfuka Joseline, Ms. Ruth Eteu Eyoku-Member of staff from the Department of the Academic Registrar, Principal Warden-Mr. Peter Rivan Muhereza, Guild Administrator-Ms. Norah Nalubowa, Wardens and staff from the Dean of Students’ Department, staff from Public Relations Office, the media and other invited guests. Mr. Muhammad Kiggundu, an alumnus of Makerere University, who graduated during the 73rd Graduation ceremony moderated the Swearing-in-Ceremony.
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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