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Don't give up on higher education, students told

By Cecilia Okoth, Raphael Bongomin

Added 13th March 2017 10:58 AM

Lack of money and failure should never inform their education paths

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Students from Kakira High School observing items at Uganda Christian University’s stall at the 9th Higher Education Exhibition at UMA showgrounds. Photo by Godiver Asege

Lack of money and failure should never inform their education paths

The dream of every student who has completed his or her secondary school education would be to join the University and pursue a degree. However this may not be the case for some who either fail their S6 exams or cannot afford tuition.

But according to Dr. Francis Otto, a senior education officer at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the above attributes are merely a barrier that can be broken once one has the right frame of mind.

Otto, who was presenting a career guidance talk to S.6 students who had visited the Council's 9th higher education exhibition at the UMA show ground in Lugogo, said lack of money and failure should never inform their education paths.

He instead said when presented with such challenges and cannot enrol for degree programmes, they can start out at certificate or diploma level.

Giving a testimony of his own experience, Otto, now a PHD holder said he got 11 points with a combination of Physics, Economics and Mathematics, from a village school in Lira district.

"My parents lacked money so my only option was to either repeat, or enrol for a certificate course, seeing as my grades could not permit me to study Computer Science under Government sponsorship. I opted to join the National Teachers College for a diploma and became a teacher. I later on enrolled for Computer Science at degree level, a masters and a PHD" he said.    

"Do not be shy to start out at any level be it a certificate or a diploma because excellence comes from you. Always ensure that in whatever you do, you give it your best and have self-discipline and you will be able to gather information that will shape you" he added.

This year's NCHE exhibition attracted secondary schools around Kampala and its outskirts, several institutions of higher learning including those from Kenya and human rights organizations. The theme was: Nurturing Youth Employability and Wealth Creation.

Some of the exhibitors included Uganda Christian University, Makerere, Ankole Western, Avance, United States International, ISBAT, Mildmay Uganda, Aptech Computer College, Institute of Petroleum Studies, Reformed Theological College, Ndejje, Muteesa One Royal, Human Rights Network Uganda and Action for Youths with Disability, among others.

NCHE is the body that sets standards and regulations to ensure that all public and private tertiary education institutions in Uganda create, sustain and provide relevant and quality higher education for all qualified Ugandans to meet the local, national and global higher education challenges of the future. It was created under the UOTIA of 2001.

The exhibition according to Dr. Norah Mulira, the director for research documentation at NCHE, had its focus on current social economic development issues among the youth and the innovative higher education intervention.

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