President Museveni has urged Kyambogo University graduands to use the skills they have attained to employ themselves and others so as to supplement government's employment and development efforts.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, Museveni said graduates should continuously re-invent themselves to remain relevant by focusing on the needs of people.
“It is your ability and skills to contribute to sustainable social, economic transformation of communities. Be patriotic, disciplined and have a positive attitude,” Museveni is quoted as saying at Kyambogo's 15th graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
He asked Kyambogo to play a leading role in capacity building to equip the young generation with necessary skills for self- sustainability.
“Unemployment is still a challenge… science and entrepreneurship courses taught here should kick start the dream for job creation and business innovations – something that government has been urging universities to implement,” he said.
At least 8,173 graduands of whom 4,446 are male and 3,757 are female were awarded certificates, diplomas, bachelors and masters degrees in various programmes.
Of these, 240 students obtained first class degrees. In his detailed speech on the current status of the university, Kyambogo vice chancellor Prof Eli Katunguka said this is the highest number of graduands the university has ever graduated.
In 2017, Kyambogo graduated 7,304 students, 7,078 in 2016 and 6,479 graduates in 2015. Katunguka commended deans and heads of departments for equipping students with the requisite skills to compete favourably in the job market.
“Have a clear vision for your life, set your goals, continue dreaming big and bigger and whatever you decide to do in your life, give it the best shot,” Katunguka told graduands.
"Do not allow anybody to tell you that you are nobody and will remain so, you can be that somebody as long as you work and will be a winner in the end."
The graduation ceremonies kicked off on Wednesday with students from the graduate school, school of management and faculty of special needs. On Thursday students from the faculty of arts and social sciences and faculty of vocational studies graduated while those from the three faculties of education, science and engineering graduated today Friday.
Edgar Ndekera Mbiri, who was pursuing a bachelor of science in food processing technology, has been recognised as the best male student with a CGPA of 4.97.
In humanities, Enock Odeke with a bachelor of education emerged the best student with a CGPA of 4.86 while Adrine Ainomugisha with a CGPA of 4.84 was the best female student graduating with a bachelor of education.
The chancellor, Prof John Ssebuwufu, who has been reappointed for another four-year term urged graduands to be respectful and grateful to their parents, guardians as well as professors that have contributed towards their academic success.
“Through your newly acquired qualifications, you are well equipped with new knowledge and skills to enable you make a meaningful contribution to the advancement of your communities. Also, use your qualifications to earn you a living for yourselves, while remembering that the world does not owe anybody a living, and technology, as driven by the advances in artificial intelligence, is taking over a lot of jobs that used to be performed by humans. As you leave us, always remember your alma mater,” Ssebuwufu said.
UPCOUNTRY STUDY CENTRES
In a bid to decongest the main campus, Kyambogo University council chairman Prof John Okedi said the university is planning to launch outreach learning centres in various parts across the country.
By closure of semester one 2018/2019 on December 9, the university comprised 33,200 students on campus and about 45,000 students in affiliated colleges. This is the largest number of students ever recorded since inception in 2003.
Okedi said setting up the centres will make it cheap for students to attain higher education without incurring huge costs and taking unnecessary risks travelling long distances to study from the main campus in Kampala.
“These centres will be relevant because all the thousands of secondary and primary school teachers upcountry are dying to upgrade their skills while our investigations have shown that our courses are admired countrywide,” Okedi said. “Indeed, all over the world, outreach training is the way to go.”
He believes that the centres will be cost effective and will not strain university resources. Currently, Kyambogo runs six certificate, 52 diploma, 51 bachelors, nine postgraduate diplomas, 30 masters and seven doctorate programmes.