Lessons from West Nile schools outreach

BY JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA

Uganda Christian University (UCU) through the career development office has embarked on country wide school career guidance tours as a way of giving back to community.
This is enshrined in the UCU Strategic Plan.
I was honoured to be part of the team that traversed West Nile region visiting schools and churches.

As we talked to students and staff on the value of higher education and making holistic career choices, I noticed that indeed there is an urgent need for continuous career guidance to be conducted in higher institutions of learning.
In one of the sessions, a student asked which combination they need to offer in order to be a traffic officer!

This student indeed has a passion for working as a traffic officer but needed guidance on how best they would achieve this dream.

Thank God we were present to effectively guide this learner. It was also noticeable throughout our engagement with schools that there appears to be low morale among students as to whether they can make it in life.

Such students suffer from low self-esteem regarding the possibility of joining the university and subsequently getting access to employment after school.
Some of the remedies to these problems go back to the importance of role models in the community.

It is true that many people, upon successfully joining and completing higher education institutions, rarely go back to their former schools and neighboring ones to inspire students that they can also make it in life.
The UCU team inspired learners on available opportunities inclusive of scholarship opportunities at UCU.

On our mission we were privileged to also address parents and prospective learners in various churches across Arua town on Sunday.

We were privileged to meet a number of alumni in numerous positions of responsibility.
For instance, we attended the women’s day celebrations to market UCU in Arua town. By coincidence, the Master of Ceremony was a UCU alumnus.

There were also numerous police officers on parade who introduced themselves to us as UCU alumni. The coordinator of the function was a UCU alumnus too. In short, the function was well managed by UCU alumni.
It was an amazing experience for our team. If only each one of us took a personal responsibility to spare time when they are upcountry or any area of convenience to guide prospective learners and learners in higher institution of learning on making career choices and above all joining UCU as the best university that provides holistic education, we would make a big difference in the world. It does not matter in which office you work.

All of us have a responsibility for the common good of society.

The writer is a lecturer at the Foundation Studies Department

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