1,992 new students have been registered

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Students of the Faculty of Social Sciences being inducted during the service in Nkoyoyo Hall on September 22 (Photo by Bright Niwaha)

BY DOREEN KAJERU AND AGATHA MUHAISE

This Advent Semester, Uganda Christian University has registered 1,992 new students. Of these, 1,644 were admitted for the undergraduate programmes at Mukono campus while 264 were admitted at Kampala campus.

Eighty-four students were admitted for postgraduate studies, and a total of 3,424 continuing students have been recorded in the registration of the new and continuing students that started on August 31.

Mrs Christa Oluka, the Admissions and Students’ Records manager, has informed The Standard that this semester’s student registration shows a 0.7% increase in the expected number of students registered, compared to last year, September.”

The undergraduate courses have registered students in the faculties of Business and Administration, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Law, Education and Arts and the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology.

Postgraduate students have registered in all the faculties except Law.

 

The induction

On the September 22, these new students were inducted at Nkoyoyo Hall, Mukono campus.

During the service, Dr John Senyonyi, the vice chancellor of UCU, delivered a sermon entitled “Intellect as God’s image in me” drawn from Genesis 1:26-31.

Senyonyi took his congregation back to the beginning, when God made man in his own image. He said that unlike animals, people have a spiritual, moral, relational, physical and most importantly intellectual likeness to God.

“It is because of this replicationthatwehave an incalculable worth as human beings, and that is why abortion is evil, because it fails to acknowledge the image of God in whatever form it may be,” Senyonyi explained.

He told the students that the intellectual element in humans is the reason they are at the university and their duty is to sharpen it.

“The worst thing you can do is to send your intellect to sleep by engaging in acts that do not build it, like alcoholism,” he told the gathering that included freshmen, continuing students, deans of faculties and heads of various departments.

Two arrested for defrauding students

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From left: Herman Okia and Andrew Geoffrey Lwanga (Photos by Bright Niwaha)

By Agatha Muhaise

Two men were arrested on September 26 by the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Police for allegedly collecting money from students promising to assist them clear their retakes.

The two, Andrew Geoffrey Lwanga, a cleaner at Maybach Bar and Restaurant, and Herman Okia, a former Information Technology student of UCU and manager of Maybach Bar and Restaurant, were posing as university staff.

They convinced up to four desperate students that they had a way of enabling them clear their retakes and be able to graduate in October.

According to the police, the students were being asked to pay Shs400,000 per retake. Lwanga was picked up from Satellite Beach, after Mr Herman Mukiibi, a lecturer in Foundation Studies, tipped off the police about the scam.

Earlier, Mr Mukiibi had been informed of the conmen’s activities by a friend of one of the students who fell victim to the scam.Later the police also picked up Herman Okia from his work place.

Victims speak out

Cynthia Tracy Umahoro, a Mass Communication student at UCU, reported that on September 20, she was called by a man who identified himself as Andrew Lwanga. The caller claimed to work with the Information Technology department of UCU, and he had details about the student’s performance.

“He promised to make the retakes go away if I was willing to pay Shs400,000 for each paper. We agreed to meet at Star Gardens for further discussions and payment,” Umahoro said.

“I went with a friend, Lillian Rukundo, also a student of Mass Communication, for the meeting. My friend had three retakes and figured she could also use Lwanga’s ‘magic’ services.”

“Lwanga had a list of names of students with retakes, and their contacts. This

convinced us and we were willing to pay a down payment for the process to begin.”

She adds that she sent Shs250,000 to Lwanga, and Lillian Rukundo agreed to pay Shs200,000 as advance payment for the services.

Hope Atwine, also a student of Mass Communication at UCU, claims that she was called by Lwanga with the offer to make the retakes go away.

“With a total of three retakes, I had to raise Shs1.2 million, but that is a lot of money. So I negotiated with Lwanga. He reduced the charges and I gave him an advance of Shs50,000. I handed over the money during a meeting at Satellite Beach, Mukono,” Atwine said.

She adds that in subsequent days she also received nagging calls from Lwanga, asking for the balance of the fees.

Confessions

When Lwanga was interrogated by Mr John Bahemuka Toa, the UCU legal officer, and Mr Charles Nahamya, the head of security at UCU, he said that the mastermind of the operation was his manager, Herman Okia.

Okia took advantage of the information that his friend (Cynthia Tracy Umahoro) had narrated to him about his retakes. He then told me that Umahoro would call me soon, and we would get money out of the scam.

“I met with all the victims, received money from them and shared it with Okia,” he said.

Lwanga added that the scam went bad for them when one Scovia Auma called him and said she was willing to pay Shs1 million for the same services.

“At our meeting at Satellite, Auma came with a male friend who kept on asking questions about the process, which I could not answer. That is when another man was called in and I was arrested,” Lwanga said.

Herman Okia, however, tells a contradicting tale. “I told Lwanga about a girl I met at a party last year, who has retakes and may drop out of school. I did not con anyone although I received some of the money that Lwanga got out of this deal,” he said.

Bahemuka Toa said there are clear outlined procedures on how to deal with such situations. “There are no short-cuts whatsoever. We are here to protect the academic quality of the university and anyone who compromises that will face the full extent of the law.”

By press time, efforts by The Standard to reach Mr Mukiibi, who filed the case with police under file number SD12/26/09/2016, were futile.

The accused have since been released on police bond, after they made a written agreement promising to pay back the money to the defrauded students soon.

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.

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.

Institutions should emulate UCU’s drug fight – Rugunda

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The UCU team led by the band during the Drug Awareness Walk in Kampala (Photo by Fred Hidula)

BY ELIZABETH AMONGIN

“Institutions of higher learning have been urged to emulate Uganda Christian University (UCU) in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse,” the Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, has said. He was flagging off the campaign walk, organized by UCU’s counseling department, to create awareness against alcohol and drug abuse, on Saturday, September 10, in Kamwokya, Kampala. “Drug addiction is a major threat to the young people, who feel it is normal to abuse alcohol and drugs. I, therefore, thank UCU for organising the walk and I urge other institutions of higher learning to emulate them in this fight,” Rugunda said.

 

“Drug addiction is a major threat to Uganda’s population, targeting the young people. This campaign walk against drug abuse is crucial in eradicating alco-hol and drug abuse, which comes innocently and the young people fall for it,” he explained.

He called upon the addicts not to feel condemned but rather seek help.

The Vice Chancellor of UCU, Dr John Senyonyi, urged parents to avoid secrecy while dealing with the issue of drug abuse.Hesaidthatthe best way of handling addictions is through speaking about them.

“Secrecy is a major problem that hinders recovery from addiction. Some parents never tell us about the child’s situation and this adversely affects the recovery process.”

The Director of Butabika Hospital, Dr David Basangwa, who was the chief walker, encouraged people to reach out to those suffering with addictions such that they can be helped.

“It is our responsibility and we all have a role to play towards ending drug abuse in society. We have opened up rehabilitation facilities where addicts can get help,” he said.

He thanked the counseling department of UCU for passing on the message of hope towards drug addicts, emphasising that addiction can be prevented.

Tonny Nganwa, a recovering alcoholic, testified of how he recovered from al- cohol abuse, with the help of his parents.

“My family never gave up on me, they never pushed me away even when I went for rehabilitation for over four times, they kept on encouraging me. No one should fool you that you can recover from addiction without anyone’s help so ask for help,” he said.

The walk, which began at the KCCA gardens opposite Cafe Javas in Kamwokya, Kampala Capital City Authority, was also attended by Ms Beti Kamya, the Minister for Kampala; as well as

participants from the Ministry of Health, and rehabilitation centres like Recovery Uganda, East African Centre for Addiction Services, and Stop Underage Drinking (Uganda).

Lecturers’ teaching tactics reinforced

 

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The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Dr Benon Musinguzi, addressing the ecturers during the workshop (Photo by Bright Niwaha)

 

BY BRIGHT NIWAHA

The Directorate Teaching and Learning, in conjunction with the Faculty of Education and Arts, conducted a pedagogy workshop to equip teaching staff with skills as the 2016 advent semester resumed.

The two-day workshop was held from September 5 – 6 in the former law library, under the theme: “Ensuring quality learning through effective instruction”.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, in his opening remarks, urged staff to propagate UCU’s identity and be familiar with the university policies in order for them to set a good example among the students.

“We are not ashamed of the testimony of our Christian identity and we should all be conversant with the motto, vision, mission, core values and theme of the university,” he said.

He added that lecturers must address the intellectual aspect of the development of the complete person, and advised them to not just focus on academics but also cater for other needs like the emotional and health aspects.

“Remember that our main customer is the student. We are here to serve the student so go out of your way to make their experience here

memorable. Serve them with diligence, and the highest level of integrity.”

“The profits of a teacher may not be immediate but are realised over time. Every upward progress in the status of your student is your upward progress too,” Senyonyi said.

He urged the lecturers to familiarise themselves with the university policies on issues such as the dress code and ensuring a paperless work place, among others. “You are privileged to have such training and I thank the Dean, Faculty of Education for organising it. I did not get such training and I am surprised that my former students are grateful because many of them were my guinea pigs. Therefore, this is a chance for you to get the skills and enable you do a good job,” he concluded.

Dr Benon Musinguzi the Deputy Vice- Chancellor Academic Affairs, noted that most lecturers are not trained teachers and should, therefore, undertake pedagogy training as an important aspect of their university education.

“Lectures are teachers regardless of specialization. All teachers need knowledge and skills to teach and assess learners. Our students have excelled in the field because they are academically better than the rest and because of the way you model them,” Musinguzi explained.

Musinguzi advised the lecturers to read and understand the education philosophy for UCU (2008), which marked a fundamental shift from ‘teaching what we know’ to teaching towards the goal of producing the ideal graduate through holistic instruction in line with the theme,“a complete education for a complete person’.

Mr Peter Mugume, one of the organisers of the training told The Standard that the pedagogy programme is a 2011 initiative of the Vice Chancellor, aimed at training lecturers and tutors to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment of performance in the university.