By Ismael Kasooha and Andrew Musinguzi
AFRICAN Rural University-ARU, an all-women’s university, has had its first graduation ceremony since its inception.
Speaking as special guest at the maiden graduation ceremony, the Bunyoro queen mother Margaret Karunga Adyeeri challenged students and those who graduate from various institutions to be disciplined and stick to Bunyoro values.
She said that young women should not only get skills from institutions of learning but also value their culture and traditions.
“I want to ask the ladies who have graduated to be disciplined and value the Kingdom values and traditions because a society without culture is non-existent,” said Karunga.
She asked the graduates to use the skills attained for their personal development and the kingdom in general.
Karunga said that Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom is blessed to have such an institution that helps to empower women who are a key ingredient in development.
Karunga was Friday speaking during the first graduation for ARU in Kagadi town Kibaale district.
The queen commended the founders of ARU for the initiative to empowering women of Africa for equitable development.
A total of 33 female students graduated in Various Academic discipline at the 1st Graduation Ceremony of African Rural University [ARU] in Kibaale district.
The Students were a warded Bachelors of Science degree in Technologies for Rural Transformation [Bsc.TRT] and Certificates in Entrepreneurship and Business Management [CREB] where a total of 24 were conferred with Bachelor’s Degrees and 9 awarded Certificates.
The function was presided over by the University Chancellor Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi, at the University campus in Kagadi town Council Kibaale district.
In his speech, Justice Muhanguzi, urged graduands to demonstrate to the world that they are the first rural transformation specialists and women with visionary leadership with the capacity to mobilize and organize society to make it a better world.
“The Value of women in transforming society is an open secret but often under estimated in some societies. The world has in the recent past realized that there is a link between promoting women’s equality, economic empowerment and and other development out comes’’, he said.
Muhanguzi noted that women are nurturers, budget managers’ health practitioners, planners at house hold level and therefore developing a curriculum which enhances these attributes is crucial to the development of society.
He also launched ARU Alumni Association and urged pioneers to spearhead the association for other female students to emulate just like other universities.
Joyce Mpanga, the chairman University council said that the University provides the aspirations in the Uganda Vision 2040 in the context for education and human resource development necessary for rural social and economic transformation.
“The changing demands for skills in the 21st century require universities to have curricula that are multi-disciplinary and address ethical literacy,” said Mpanga.
She said that ARU, as a private actor in higher education, designs curricula aligned to the needs of the 21st century rural society, economy, technology and politics.
Mpanga said that the curricula are geared to generating a human resource that is desirable and has the right attitude and mindset to work and transform the rural areas.
“The graduates remain in rural areas as skilled experts facilitating transformation at the individual, family and community level starting with the lower local government systems and structures,” she said.
Mpanga said that when she and Dr. Sarah Ntiro were in the legislative council strived as they still do for the advancement of women and ensuring that women can have equal opportunities with men in terms of work, remuneration, benefits and exercising their talents in all spheres.
She said “serving on the ARU council gives them the opportunity to continue with this struggle and we are proud and confident that this strategy of incubation, strengthening women in rural areas to cause transformation is the way to go”
African Rural University, is the first all-women’s University in Uganda that is a Non –denominational University founded by indigenous Non-Governmental Organization, Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme [ URDT] under the Chief Executive officer Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe that was established with a goal of imparting skills, knowledge and consciousness for rural transformation.
The University also provides transformational education to create effective change agents with in African development Context.
It was licensed in 2011 by the National Council for higher Education of Uganda [NCHE] under No. U1.PL.017. to institutionalize and deepen the home grown methodology for human and rural development based on visionary approach and the principles of Systems thinking.
African Rural University is located 1.5km along Kagadi-Hoima Road, in Kagadi town Council, Kibaale District, 265 Kilometers west of Uganda’s Capital Kampala.
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ARU holds its first ever graduation