The director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana has challenged the academia to come out of libraries, lecture rooms and start advocating for social justices.
Ssewanyana said it’s high time the academia get to the forefront advocating for national interests through research, public policy and development.
He however lamented that unfortunately, the learned fellows today are the ones engineering the problems affecting the communities as a result of primitive accumulation of wealth.
“That habit must stop right from the curriculum developed by universities, in every course taught, let it address the plight of the ordinary person. It will help the community to receive graduates who are relevant but not oppressors,” he said.
Ssewanyana made the remarks on Friday at Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono during the launch of the two new academic programmes in the department of development studies, under the faculty of social sciences.
The programmes are; bachelor of human rights, peace and humanitarian interventions and the bachelor of organization and development management.
He tasked universities to invest in research on pertinent issues like land grabbing which is becoming a national security threat.
“The media on a daily basis reports about the poor and old people who are dispossessed of their small pieces of land. Academia, these are the issues you must start researching on, why is it rampant and what the government should do to address the dilemma,” said Ssewanyana adding that by doing that, the public will start seeing the universities as a solution to their problems.
He tasked UCU that their new programmes need to impact on the injustices perpetuating to the poor Ugandans every day.
The dean of social sciences at UCU, Associate Prof. Mary Ssonko Nabachwa said the new programmes are going to help them produce graduates who will be on market not only in Uganda or Africa but internationally.
Nabachwa said that as a result of the country’s high unemployment rate, they have designed these courses which will produce graduates who are on high demand.
“The bachelor of human rights, peace and humanitarian interventions is a programme where we seek to enable the learners to appreciate the challenges of human rights violations. They will know how to promote human rights and in cases of disasters they will have humanitarian interventions that are relevant and do the healing,” she elaborated.
The programmes where launched by UCU vice chancellor in change of academic affairs, Dr. Benon Musinguzi who also handed certificates to the members of staff designing the programmes.