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

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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.

Education

Government Asked to Make Fine Art Compulsory in Secondary Schools

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Group photo of workshop participants. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports has been called upon to find ways of popularizing the subject of art and crafts in lower and higher secondary education.

Prof. Anthony Muggaga, the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere University, said yesterday that the government should explore measures including making the subject compulsory.

“We should have at least a module for one term like we have General Paper or computer,” he said.

Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

Prof. Mugagga believes that without popularizing Fine Art, the education sector will continue churning out students who lack critical thinking.

“Fine Art is what will cultivate a critical mindset amongst our learners. That is why we encourage children in nursery school to draw; we are trying to bring out what is in their minds,” he said.

“It is the same reason that art is considered therapy for mental health patients. When they draw, they express what is taking place in their minds.”

Prof. Mugagga was speaking at the launch of the findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review.

Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka.

Dr Julius Ssegantebuka from Makerere University College of Education and External Studies and the lead researchers said the curriculum review project is intended to prepare secondary school art and design teachers, by equipping them with practical skills and values that match the modern world.

“During this second phase of the project, we had trial lectures and discussions with the teachers. We also embarked on removing obsolete content and replaced it with new content and also separated some of the art disciplines that were formally combined,” he said.

The updated curriculum he said, puts emphasis on research, group discussions, and field studies among others.

Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC.

Speaking as chief guest at the launch, Dr Grace K Baguma, the Director National Curriculum Development Center commended the initiative.

“I commend Dr Ssegantebuka and the team for this initiative, which is aimed at contributing to the development of quality curricula that employ modern pedagogies that respond to societal needs,” she said.

On her part, Dr Moreen Muwanga from Kyambogo University called for the integration of ICT in the teaching of visual arts.

“Many of us have a phobia of handling a computer. Yet the students we are teaching are flexible and conversant with ICT,” she said.

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Vice Chancellor Meets Delegates from German Adult Education Association

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The Acting Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba has welcomed a delegation from the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) led by the Board Chair Hon. Martin Rabanus. The delegation was in the country to assess the impact of their partnership with Makerere University and the community.

DVV International and Makerere University, Department of Adult and Community Education have been partners since 1986.

The support has been in the areas of teaching and learning. DVV International supported the development and launch of the Master of Adult and Community Education (MACE) in 2007. Makerere University has since graduated many who now work as lecturers in Higher Institutions of Learning, programme managers, development workers, adult education trainers and so on. Before then, DVV International was supporting undergraduate students of the Bachelor of Adult and Community Education (BACE) with financial support towards internships and practical training during the Recess term of Year 2.

Speaking in his office on April 15, 2024, Assoc. Prof. Kakumba appreciated the Germany government for the support over the years. Saying through this support Makerere has continued to foster adult education by settling up Adult Education centres in Lira and Mbale for this purpose.

Hon. Martin Rabanus (L) receive souvenirs from Assoc. Prof. Kakumba

DVV International has over time supported staff in the area of research and publications. Some of the beneficiaries include Dr. Stella Achen, Dr. Twine Banakuka, among others. In early 1990s the organization helped to renovate the building housing adult and community education. The organization has also previously supported staff to acquire Masters and PhDs.

Prof. Kakumba appealed to Hon. Martin Rabanus to consider renewing the MoU between the two institutions in an effort to continue training adult educators.

Hon. Martin Rabanus applauded Makerere University for the achievements obtained so far and the contribution the partnership has enabled. “We are happy that we were able to provide adults an opportunity for them to get a certificate and improve their lives,” he said. “Thank you for the corporation for the last 40 years.”

Present in the meeting were the Principal of College of Education and External Studies(CEES), Prof. Anthony Mugagga, the Dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning, Dr. Harriet Nabushawo and Dr. Stella Achen – Head of Department, Adult and Community Education.

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Scholars call for incorporating patriotism in education curriculum

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Group photo of the workshop participants. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Scholars have called for the inclusion of patriotism in the country’s curriculum, arguing that starting as early as nursery school will go a long way in transforming our society. The call was made during a stakeholders’ workshop organized to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Lack of a shared Ugandan culture, beliefs & national value system is one some of the things that were identified as those that hinder the spirit of Patriotism.

Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba.

It was also noted that the sense of patriotism demonstrated by most students who graduate from universities in Uganda is at its lowest. This, Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba, said is manifested in the persistent riots, rise of the crime rate, vandalism, rampant students’ death, Individualism which are detrimental to the nation.

Although legal frameworks & initiatives, National Patriotic Programs, trainings in secondary schools, and patriotism clubs in high schools exist, the sense of patriotism among universities is still disturbingly low, Dr Kyababa said.

To this end, the research teams seeks to analyze the teacher education curricula to ascertain aspects of patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda, to establish teacher trainees’ perception of patriotism among selected Public Universities and to build capacities of teacher trainees in integrating Patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda.

Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES.

Some scholars have argued that using practitioners & teacher education to build a sense of patriotism in preservice teachers as a community of practice increases the odds that future generations will care about each other and love their country.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting on April 15, 2024, the Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, said that many people confuse patriotism with being a member of a political party. This he said is far from the true meaning of the word. Patriotism according to scholars’ entails living in harmony with each other, limited violence, sense of unity, peaceful environments with each other, preserving a county’s heritage, interests, respecting each other’s culture, values, and love and commitment to the country’s democratic principles. To achieve this, Prof. Mugagga advised that people ought to be taught about self-management, honesty, emotional intelligence, etiquette, hygiene, entrepreneurship, soft skills and survival skills among other things.

Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her remarks, the Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda demystified the Misconceptions about Patriotism emphasizing that it is not an NRM agenda or a recruitment group but it is rather a program that would help learners better through protecting the environment, cherishing hard work, honesty, accountability and fairness.

Prof. Betty Ezati, who also attended the meeting advised that patriotism ought to start at home. “Patriotism should start at home and pre-primary. For higher institutions of learning, let us train the teachers to love their country and in so doing, they will pass this on to the young generation,” she said.  

Prof. Betty Ezati (Left) and Madam Kawuma Caroline (Right) at the event. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her closing remarks, the Principal Education Officer, Teacher Education Training & Development, Ministry of Education and Sports Mrs. Elizabeth Kisakye Nsamba emphasized “a need for a think tank to re-conceptualize Patriotism in Teacher Education with a well-structured programme”

The Stakeholders’ workshop was graced by key Stakeholders from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education, Uganda National Teachers’ Union, National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Teacher Educators and Preservice teachers among others.   The study will be conducted at the School of Education Makerere University, Faculty of Education, Kyambogo University and Faculty of Education, Mountains of the Moon University.

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