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Ugandan Universities urged to cut down on strikes, create jobs

Chancellor Prof Charles Olweny conducts the ceremony of the conferment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of MUST from the faculty of Medicine. PHOTO MUST MEDIA

Chancellor Prof Charles Olweny hails record number of graduands at Mbarara University

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Students and staff of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) have been challenged to resolve conflicts intellectually, and avoid strikes.

“There has been a lot of unrest at public universities. There have been lots of strikes, some of them silent, others low level strikes among students and staff. Universities being higher institutions of learning, we implore students and staff to use intellectual means to resolve conflict, to be exemplary to other institutions, especially the lower institutions,” said First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Museveni on Friday.

The Minister of Education and Sports said government has prioritized scientists and their pay is something being specially considered and wondered why they are impatient. She reassured that as soon as funds are available, focus will be first on all those involved in innovation and science.

Janet Museveni’s remarks were read by Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Health Care who represented her at the 27th graduation ceremony of Mbarara University of Science and Technology held for a limited number in Mbarara, and virtually for the majority, on Friday.

She congratulated the graduands for completing their studies despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, but challenged them to create, not look for jobs.

“Do not look for jobs. Make yourself relevant and create one for yourself, in order to make a difference in lives of our people,” said Janet Museveni.

FILE PHOTO: President Museven, Education Minister Janet Museveni, and Olweny in 2017

Mbarara’s 27th graduation sets record

The 27th Mbarara University graduation held on Friday registered the highest number ever of 1,269, which is over 200 more than that at the 26th -1,031.

Significantly, the number of PHD graduands doubled to 24, from 11 previously.

Chancellor Prof Charles Olweny said the increase in the numbers graduating at graduate and post graduate levels is testimony to the university’s continued commitment to train and provide scientists to help speed up the country’s development.

Prof Olweny, is the 4th chancellor of the University that opened October 28, 1989. Prof Celestine Obua is the Vice Chancellor of the university that has grown from a single medical faculty of 43, with 6 staff, to one over 5000 and 540 staff today.

Prof Olweny. PHOTO MUST MEDIA

The Chancellor emphasized that the role of a university is teaching, research and community engagement, and MUST were on track, as between 2017 and 2019, close to 500 research papers were published. He also hailed the emphasis on online learning.

“Most institutions of learning have been moved  to virtual learning, and virtual graduations. In the 90s distance learning was looked down upon, but is now the key mode of learning. Virtual learning is the new normal,” Prof Olweny told the congregation.

He urged them to embrace and maintain the core values of the institution; excellence, innovativeness, professionalism, team work and respect for diversity.

“I wish to remind that learning never ends. I appeal to you all, to collect applications for your next diploma, masters or doctoral degree as soon as you leave here,” he said. “I trust that MUST has empowered you with all the necessary skills to survive in this world. Go and spread the light.”

Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu said she was excited to be back at the university that trained her to become a doctor.

She awarded medals to  a team of Medical workers under Mbarara University and Hospital Covid-19 taskforce that was chaired by Dr Celestino Barigye and helped in containing the Covid-19 pandemic in the district.

GRADUATION FULL VIDEO

 

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