By Denis Onyango and Innocent Anguyo
Higher Education Minister Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo has told graduates to consider running for Chairperson of Local Council One (LC1) in their respective communities, in light of filling the positions with intellectuals.
“Go and stand to become the chairman (or chairlady) of LC1, there will be elections soon at that level. This time you should not leave the chairmanship of LC1 to 3 to people who do not have degrees. It should be you who have interpersonal skills,” said Muyingo.
He was speaking at Makerere University on Friday, during the graduation ceremony for 359 students who have been studying on several courses jointly run by Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (COCIS) and Amity University in India.
Dr. Muyingo further implored the students to join other institutions often shunned by graduates such as the police and the army, saying they are some of the employers in Uganda that still boast of numerous job opportunities.
“Every time adverts calling on people to join the police and the army are run, I don’t see graduates applying. Please go and grab all jobs held by people who are not as qualified as you are,” stated Muyingo.
The minister also urged the graduates to exploit the free movement of labour in the East African Community to seek jobs in neighboring countries.
“You must be aggressive in seeking jobs out there. If Kenyans and Tanzanians can come to work in Uganda, then why don’t you also go and look for jobs in those countries?” he asked.
A total of 359 students who enrolled for programs offered under the collaboration between Makerere and Amity received Diploma, Bachelors, Masters and Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) qualifications.
Courses offered to Ugandans under the collaboration include Master of Business Administration in International Business, Masters in Finance and Control, PGD in Information Technology, PGD in French Language.
More include; Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Finance and Investment Analysis, Diploma in Information Technology and Diploma in Business Management.
To enroll on the programmes, the students apply directly to Amity University. Lectures are held at Makerere but assessment is done by Amity. However, the student pay subsidized tuition fees to Amity, since the programme is sponsored by the Indian Government.
The collaboration was rolled-out in 2009 when the Governments of Uganda and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding geared towards the implementation of the Pan African e-Network Project in Uganda.
The project was flagged-off in 2004, by the then Indian president Dr. Abdul Kalam, who proposed to set up a pan African network to connect all 53 African Union member countries with the best universities and specialty hospitals in India.
Indian Universities also administer medication to Mulago patients through videoconferencing, courtesy of the project.
Being the highest ranked University in East Africa, Makerere was subsequently chosen to serve as the regional center to rollout the initiative.
An e-Iearning center was set up at the then Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, now COCIS to deliver Amity tutorials through video conferencing. To date, the collaboration has graduated 700 Ugandans.
Since the five-year programme is set to wind up this year, COCIS principal Dr. Constant Obura asked the Indian Government to renew support to the project.
The acting Indian Ambassador to Uganda, Rajesh Gawande said the funding to the project will be renewed upon formal request from the Ugandan government, through the African Union.
Higher Education Minister Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo directed Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu and Obura to draft the request as soon as possible. E