It was dance and jubilation as Makerere University today awarded PhDs, masters, post graduate diplomas and degrees to 1398 students of the College of Education and External Studies. The ceremony, on the second day of the 72nd graduation, saw five people awarded Doctor of Philosophy Degrees, 52 students received Masters degrees, 20 of whom were female while 66 students received post graduate Diplomas in various fields.
The college graduated 1,275 undergraduate students. The Bachelor of Medical Education has 28 male and 25 female students graduate, the Bachelor of Adult and Community Education had a total of 90 graduates (33 females and 57 male student). The Bachelor of Science with Education had 227 graduates (168 males and 59 females), the Bachelor of Education say 114 males and 91 female students graduate while the Bachelor of Arts with Education saw 700 students receive degrees, 216 of whom are male while 484 were female.
In his remarks, the Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. Ezra Suruma, congratulated the graduates upon this milestone and reminded the two graduating Colleges, the College of Education and External Studies and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, that agriculture and education sectors are the backbone of Uganda’s economy.
Prof Suruma said the education sector needs drastic improvements in the performance of children in Universal Primary Education (UPE) in particular. Government has made a drastic achievement in declaring universal access to education: UPE in 1997 and USE in 2007, he said. “Children no longer have to walk 10 miles as I did to access primary education,” Prof. Suruma emphasized.
But the standard of education in UPE schools requires remarkable improvement, he remarked. For example, performance of UPE pupils in literacy and numeracy tests has been known to be as low as 50 percent nationally in some years. “We cannot as a country afford primary school graduates who cannot read and write nor count correctly.”
The chancellor decried the high level of corruption in the country, saying we face a fundamental challenge as a nation to create, manage and maintain institutions that provide efficient and honest services to our people.
With the introduction of the parish model, the Chancellor said we all face a fundamental challenge as a nation to create, manage and maintain institutions that provide efficient and honest services to our people.
He advised the graduands to copy from their parents and sponsors the example of love they have showed them. “I pray that you will be active citizens, compassionate neighbors who seek to improve your communities, nation and the entire world. Initially, your focus is finding a job which is only appropriate; however, don’t lose sight of making impact on those that you meet wherever you go, he concluded. He asked the graduates to read 1Thessalonians 1:3 to guide them in their new paths.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University also congratulated the graduand and thanked them for their perseverance during the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which greatly affected the education sector.
Prof. Nawangwe thanked the government of Uganda for the Shs30 billion that the governmrnt has committed to support research at Makerere University. “This fund has transformed Makerere. More than 700 gants have been allocated and more than 500 innovations recorded, many with potential for commercialization and a number of policy briefs have been developed,” Prof. Nawangwe said. Makerere, he said now boasts of the biggest research budget in Africa. “Our challenge now is transforming our research and Innovations into goods and services to fuel the economy”.
The university has over the years partnered with various organization and universities across the world. In the recent past, the university has partnered with universities in Somalia, South Sudan and Mozambique in an effort to help these partner universities grow their research capacity.
On infrastructure development, the VC highlighted the recently opened Dental School and Hospital, the central teaching facilities, the university wall and the ongoing reconstruction of the main building.
Prof. Nawangwe reminded the graduants and Parents of the 100 years that the university will be climaxing on October 8, 2022 and requested them to participate in these celebrations.
He asked the graduands to be the ambassadors of the university. “Go and put to good use the knowledge you have received from one of the best universities in the World to change your communities, your Country and humanity. Put your trust in God and honour your parents and opportunities will be opened for you,” he concluded.
At the end of the 5-day graduation, a total of 12,474 graduands will have received degrees and diplomas of Makerere University. Of these, 100 will graduate with PhDs, 1,236 with Masters degrees and 10,998 with Bachelors Degree and 140 with diplomas.