Career outreach programme bears fruit

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How did you get to know about Uganda Christian University? (Graph by Career Development and Placement office)

BY AGATHA MUHAISE

Eleven percent of the first-year students that joined the university this semester found out about it through the career outreach programmes, a survey carried out by the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Career Development and Placement office at the main campus, Mukono, has said.

The career development office has been conducting outreaches in secondary schools countrywide since 2014. Although none was conducted in 2015, they resumed in 2016 between March and August. The survey was done to find out the impact of the programme.

“From a sample size of 500 first-year students who were asked a series of questions including howtheyfoundoutabout UCU, it shows that the outreaches impacted 56 of the 500 test subjects to come to UCU,” reads the report from the Career Development and Placement Officer, Connie Musisi, in part.

“Career outreach and exhibitions came in fourth place to other sources like friends and relatives, students and staff of UCU; and the media (radio, television and newspapers) respectively,” the survey says.

Ms Musisi informed The Standard that the outreach was a success.

“Given that the careers office has been in place for three years and we have done only two outreaches, the fact that we captured that many students is a bigsuccess for us,” she said.

Mr Alex Taremwa, one ofthecontributorsto the university outreach programme, said that the programme is aimed at improving the corporate social responsibility endeavours of the institution by extending career guidance to students in upper level secondary schools.

“The 2016 outreach ran under the theme ‘Making Hostilic Career Choices’ in different districts around Uganda such as Arua, Koboko, Bushenyi, Mbarara,Kabale,Gulu, Oyam, Lira, Mbale, Kapchwora, among others,” Taremwa said.

Some of the topics covered included drug abuse, sex education, health and hygiene, career development and academics. The Standard has learnt will be launched next topics than the previous that the next session of year. This will be one, in a bid to reach more the outreach programme packaged with more students countrywide.

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Ssenkumba is new boss of Law Society at UCU

BY NICHOLAS OPOLOT

In what seemed like a heavenly sigh of relief, the UCU Law Society that has been without its top leadership finally has elected a president, in the gallant name of Caesar Ssenkumba.

Ssenkumba is a fourth year LLB student and a remarkable tennis player. Facing off with Doreen Nyangoma Kagambe, Ssenkumba won with 163 votes against Nyangoma’s 158.

Judging by the voter demographic,the by-election proved to be a tough and cut-throat competition. Surprisingly, it also illustrated so much peacefulness as the voters cast their ballots.

In contrast with the 2015 post-guild elections which were marred with irregularities, chaos and empty blatant accusations.

This aftermath hasn’t worn out the scars that cast the UCU Electoral Commission’s ability and credibility to organise a peaceful election.

This by-election is a sincere attempt of healing old wounds, differences and most importantly one that forges a way forward for UCU’s political

landscape vis-à-vis socio- economic transformation.

The portrayal of peace and tolerance implies that the youth in UCU are finally starting to embrace the principles of good democratic governance. Asked about his perspective of the by- election, Ssenkumba simply retorted that “God has taken his pick” in his typical calm and composed demeanour.

Amidst all the pompous ululation and jubilation that congratulated him, Ssenkumba, on the other hand takes an office that needs restructuring policy and at most dedication. Doreen Nyangoma humblyconcededdefeat as she said, “Thank you all for the support.

Things didn’t go well but the Lord has a plan. Thank you and God bless you.” Now this is very touching, given that Nyangoma put up a formidable fight as well. Nyangoma represents an exceptional class of women who are willing to challenge the status quo to compete in a male-dominated field.

This act of bravery is quite admirable and for that I feel Nyangoma doesn’t go home a loser but one with a bird in the hand. She has won the hearts of faithfuls who still believe in her to serve in a position that is different. Thank you, Nyangoma for trying your best! Congratulations to Ssenkumba as well!

Nonetheless, in a war there’s always a victor and a loser. However, I urge everyone to accept all the circumstances and strive for harmony and prosperity.

Charity run fails to impress

dsc_0272-1BY BRIGHT NIWAHA

The first ever Rotaract charity run that took place on September 24 was characterised by a low turn-out of participants. Moreover, the one kilometre run began later than planned with less than 30 people.

However, a number of fun activities were later conducted. These included games like chair- dancing, kwepena, tennis, volleyball, bottle-filling, relays, among others. The run, organized by the Uganda Christian University Mukono Rotaract Club and Play- for-Charity, was held at the university sportsground to fundraise and reach out to the underprivileged.

According to the President of the Rotaract Club of Mukono, Mr Joachim Mumbere, the move had a humble beginning since it was the first of its kind by the UCU Rotaract Club. “The run was organised to help the underprivileged, specifically the women prisoners in Kauga Prisons, and the Little Voices Africa Orphanage in Mayuge District.

The cash collected from the run will be used to these institutions to enable them get basic needs, education requirements and improve their health facilities,” he said. The chief runner, Ms Cynthia Asiimwe, a Rotarian in Mukono, says that she is happy that students can think about helping the community they live in.

“Do not give up because of the low turnout. This is just the beginning,” she says.

One of the participants and UCU alumnus, Tony Okello, though happy to have run for a cause, was not quite pleased about the organisation of the event.

“I am however disappointed with the poor mobilization. More people should have been convinced, vigorously, to be part of the event and to also give. Being the centre of excellence in the heart of Africa, UCU organised events should be on point!” he said.

He added: “Many entities, including the bank I work with, are always happy to join such events because they are included in their goals and strategies. They would be glad to engage in such social responsibility activities.” Shallon Manake, a student, said the university administration should have impacted much in organising the run since it is such activities that market the name of the institution.

Reinvent your future, says Babirye

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Babirye performs one of her songs as the students record videos and take photos in Nkoyoyo Hall. (Photo by Doreen Kajeru) 

BY DOREEN KAJERU

“You each have the potential to be greater than your past. Your future shall be bigger and brighter if you set out to work hard, hold onto your principles and pursue your set goals.”

This was the advice Judith Babirye, the renowned gospel artist and Woman MP for Buikwe District, gave to students during the mentoring night of the Uganda Young Women Leaders Network, CEDA International, on September 22. Babirye was the guest speaker that night on the theme “Emotionail Intelligence.”

“Use every opportunity well and focus on the goals you set for your education at the university and for life after,” she added.

She drew examples from her life and urged the youth to be determination if they are to achieve the best out of everything.“Be prepared and on the lookout for whatever seems to be a ladder to your progress. Do not let opportunity find you unprepared because it will not return. It willbegone!”shesaid.

Babirye also addressed issues of sexual purity, and urged the students, both female and male, to respect and honour their bodies. “This will keep you away from unplanned pregnancies, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, early marriages and losing focus of your targets.

“Some of you think you are either too beautiful or too ugly to work hard. No matter how you were created, it is in God’s image. So do not mind what the society says about you. Work towards your future!’’ she told the students.

 

She then fielded questions ranging from her personal life to how she manages to balance work in a ‘parliament perceived as corrupt’.

“I did not know that this lady was vibrant and passionate about the youth. She is down to earth and knowledgeable. I have been blessed,” one of the students who attended the meeting said. Another said: “I danced with Judith on the same platform! It is like a dream come true. I just cannot believe it!”

The students were treated to a music performance by the artiste. She sang some of her hits including Amanyi, Ennamba yange, Kaawonawo and Favour. Babirye has won several awards including best gospel single in the 2006 Pearl of Africa Music Awards, with the highest hit of that year, “Beera nange”.

God’s image through your intellect

Man’s intellect is perhaps the strongest distinguishing attribute, for it sets him apart from https://thestandarducu.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/page-9.jpg?w=1462plants, and other animals. Unlike man, the other animals do not go to school, or undertake courses and programmes of study. They show no propensity to specialize in their knowledge nor do they write examinations.

This superior intellect tells us something vitally important about man’s incalculable worth in the created order.

When the Creator of all things, the Lord of earth and heaven, thought to create something in his image, he made man – male and female! The magnificence of the stars in the universe and the majesty of animals do not display such splendour as you do – created in God’s image. What an unfathomable thought!

This image may be flawed by sin and illness, weakness or disability, but each is no less stamped: “Created in the image of God”. This is true of every tribe and race, of the unborn child, the comatose patient, and the mentally handicapped. C o n s e q u e n t l y , Christians must abhor volitional abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Even tribalism belittles God’s precious creation. All this is injustice, which dishonors man, who is created in the image of God.

This image is in male and female equally, expressed through our gender categories. Since God is not comparable to our gender categories, imago dei , as theologians call it, is not gender related. To think in those categories is to wrongly infer that God is in our likeness. Prof. Wayne Grudem explains that “imago dei” means that “man is like God and represents God, but is not identical with God”. Churches that claim ‘identity with God’, that we are ‘gods’, propagate a heresy. To be ‘like’ is to show evidence of that likeness. Our knowledge of this likeness will always be partial because our knowledge of God is partial.

However, this image in us is the worth of who we are, our core identity; it is our distinguishing mark. Remove it, and evolution, materialism, pantheism, suicide bombing, and all the religious ‘isms’ make sense! We become comparable to other creation, leading meaningless lives.

Let me explore five ways in which this imago dei is made manifest:

We bear spiritual likeness to God. Man is incurably religious. All cultures have a form of religious expressionism.We pray and engage in rituals to connect with a higher being. The image longs for its divine nexus. It seeks after its life source.

  • Our moral likeness to God, the longing for righteousness and holiness. There is an innate sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, in each of us. Every human community has standards of right and wrong, and breaking them leads to feelings of guilt and fear of punishment.
  • Our relational likeness to God, imaging the trinity relationship, one God, three persons. Our sense of community and social intercourse is superior. Our social dynamics generate shared visions and lead to mutual growth and development. l
  • Physical likeness to God, God is spirit but He is nevertheless visible through our physicality. He is a God who sees; so we see too. We hear as he hears, we speak as he speaks, and express many other attributes of God through our physical members. Besides, we bear children physically in our likeness as he created us in his likeness. l
  • Finally, we bear intellectual likeness to God. Jesus is called the logos, the word of God, for our God knows all things and works through reason. So, man too is endowed with the ability to reason, to think logically, to learn and to create. He grows in knowledge and his creativity is far superior to other animals.

If you observe and study the world around you, you clearly see reason, the mind of God, behind its set-up. He made us in his image to bear a mind of reason like the original! He gave us an inquiring mind with which we study the intricacies of the created order.

We go to the university and spend hours discussing and arguing about complex things to grow in understanding. We want to know as God knows! We create and produce beauty, art, music, and literature, the sciences and technology. We were created in his image to use our intellect to create, as he the Creator, created all things “very good.”

Our nurses are not fake – UCU

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Graduands from the Faculty of health science on the red carpet (File Photo)

BY ALEX TAREMWA

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has responded to critiques who are labeling the university’s nursing products as “fake” and said that there is no indication that the programme of study was not accredited.

This is after it was revealed that the university admitted students into the Nursing Science programme, who did not meet minimum requirements. In a statement issued last week, UCU admitted that while it is true that the students in question were admitted with one subject less than the minimum requirements (biology or chemistry), there is no indication that their programme of study was not accredited; that they were not taught properly or that they did not acquire adequate nursing knowledge and skills.

The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council (UNMC) rejected applications from UCU graduates who sought practicing certificates on grounds that they did not meet the body’s minimum qualifications despite having a university degree.

In an interview with The Standard, Jemimah Mutabaazi, the Head of the Nursing Science programme at UCU explained that the university has the best skills laboratory and her students are doing exceptionally well in the hospitals where they are posted as interns.

She also explained that because UCU was started before the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) was instituted, most of the courses taught were given a blanket accreditation meaning that they could continue being taught as the council examined their respective curricula. After years of no response, the NCHE recently responded about the curriculum of the Nursing programme, copies of which The Standard has seen, recommending some changes. None of the recommendations indicated that the programme was not accredited.

“They (Council members) came here and inspected, about six times. They said that we needed a bus to transport the students to the field; we bought the bus. They said we needed a skills laboratory; we built the best in Uganda. How can anyone say that our graduates are fake?” she asked.

 

Genesis of the problem

In 2007, UCU started conducting a mature entry nursing course, for already practicing certificate and diploma holders. Over the years however, the numbers started to drop drastically.

In 2009, Senate approved a curriculum and a proposal to teach the course to direct entry students. The curriculum approved set the entry requirements as biology OR chemistry, unaware that the two were both a prerequisite.

“By any standards, the students who passed any of the above and had another principal pass qualified for direct entry as per the requirement set by the NCHE so this was not an error,” Dr Ned Kanyesigye, one of the curriculum authors, said.

Admission for direct entry requirements started in 2011. Most of thestudentswhoenrolled coincidentally had studied biology, nutrition, and health sciences, but not chemistry.

In 2013, the professional body that registers nurses and regulates their education, UNMC, announced that both biology and chemistry were mandatory. It was at this point that UCU realised how grave, a predicament it was in.

“We, therefore, stopped admitting students who did not have both subjects, discarded the old curriculum and wrote to the UNMC seeking permission to teach the students admitted in 2010, 2011, 2012 remedial chemistry as compensation for missing the subject,” Kanyesigye, now Dean, Health Sciences explained.

The UNMC rejected this option arguing that; “bridging courses cannot be retrospective.” The students, seeing no solution, raised the issue with the university administration in 2015 and have since sought help from lawyers, the Ministry of Education and Sports, and recently the press and Parliament of Uganda.

In their petition, which was lodged with the office of the clerk to parliament, the former students want Parliament to direct that UCU pays back monies it charged from each of them for the duration of their course. UCU and the three other affected universities, in consultation with NCHE and UNMC, are exploring options to teach a diploma to the affected students but the matter has since been forwarded to the Ministry of Education for deliberation.

Ivan Walukhu, admitted in 2011, told The Standard that he has no knowledge of the diploma and advises the university to work in tandem with the affected students for a better resolution. “To find a lasting solution, the university has to consult with us and our legal representatives,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, was scheduled to meet the Minister for Higher Education last week but The Standard was yet to learn of the results of the meeting by press time

Senyonyi draws thousands to Christ in Lira

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Dr Senyonyi preaches at the youth convention in Lira (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

BY ALEX TAREMWA

Dr John Senyonyi, the Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University (UCU) struck through hearts of thousands of Christians, winning hundreds for Jesus Christ.

Senyonyi was guest preacher at the four day youth convention organised by the Diocese of Lango in Lira town under the theme: “Challenged by choices”

The 14th annual event started on Monday, September 12, 2016 and ended on September 15, attracting over 4,ooo students, parents, and clerics at St Augustine, Lira Urban Archdeaconry.

The VC, flanked by the retired Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, drew from the gospel of Mathew 19:21-22 to deliver a sermon entitled: “A good man who made a bad choice”, in which he warned the faithful about the choices that often attract undesired consequences.

 

“You need prayer to make the right choices. For example, during my university days, I had a filthy mouth and often uttered obscenities. Because my colleagues used to laugh at my utterances, I thought I was popular.”

“However, one fateful evening after supper I decided, not to use obscene language again. We all went ahead to get good degrees. Now I have a PhD and my friends hold masters’ degrees too,” he narrated.

 

“Maybe you too have a habit – you have been drinking alcohol, telling lies, and you do not like it. Bring it all to Christ,” he urged his audience. From the records of the Vicar of Lira Archdeaconry, a total of 816 people gave their lives to Christ.

Orombi gets a hero’s welcome

At the same event, the former UCU Chancellor, Henry Luke Orombi, arrived in Lira on Monday afternoon to a hero’s welcome.

Orombi, the chief celebrant, informed the meeting that although he had also been invited to preach to a delegation, which included the president, he had politely turned down the invitation saying; “the people of Lira are waiting.”

“At the hotel where I are staying I overheard a woman say that the weapon of mass destruction is in Lira, but I destroy the devil and all his powers,” he said. According to Andrew Acobi, the Youth Leader, the youth convention was started in 2003 to mentor young people.

The convention attracted youth from Soroti, Nebbi, Kitgum and other districts of northern Uganda. It was also graced by Bishop John Charles Odur Kami of Lango Diocese, as well as Rev Canon William Ogeng, among other speakers. Beside the evangelism, the convention featured other activities like blood donation and free career guidance from staff of UCU.