By Kampala Post Reporter
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has lauded Kabale University for opening its doors to the public to come and see the work the University does.
The First Lady was addressing hundreds of people who gathered at Kikungiri Hill where she was the Chief Guest on Friday at the launch of Kabale University’s annual Open Day.
“I believe an Open Day for a University is an opportunity for the University to show the community the work that University has done, is doing and plans to continue doing in the context of teaching, research and service to the community,” she said adding that in a sense, this is an event through which the University shows the community some accountability for its existence.
Mrs. Museveni said that the Government of Uganda has continued to invest heavily in the Education of her citizens and in promoting University Education in particular and the Ministry of Education and Sports expects Universities to work towards ideals of eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease through Research, Teaching and Service to the Community.
She advised that in order for Kabale University to grow, the staff must demonstrate interest in academic service by executing their teaching roles effectively, carrying out research and publishing the results. She also cautioned individual staff to stop neglecting community service which is one of the important roles of a University that ensures relevance to the nation and re-enforces development interventions by other actors.
She assured Kabale University stakeholders that the Ministry of Education and Sports was totally committed to finding solutions to challenges that derail the purpose of education and so, expects the management, staff and students of Universities to also play their part in coming up with solutions rather than simply playing a blame game all the time.
“If each organ plays their respective roles, I am sure we shall have a fast developing centre of academic excellence as is the aspiration of Kabale University,” she said.
She urged the Kabale University Council, Management, Staff and Students to uphold the values of integrity and professionalism and also advised them to embrace dialogue as a method of conflict resolution rather than resorting to strikes. She encouraged the students to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them and whenever they seek to defend their rights to always remember that these go hand in hand with obligations and responsibilities.
Mrs. Museveni criticized the increasing reports of sexual harassment or “marks for sex” in Universities saying this is unacceptable, violate rights of students and also portrays the institutions of Higher Learning negatively. She hoped Kabale University will be the exception and will ensure that this evil is locked out of the University arena.
She commended the University Council and Management for ably managing the transition process of the University from private to public status and said her Ministry will endeavor to continue sourcing for additional funds to support the Institution address its various needs.
The State Minister of Finance for Planning and also MP Ndorwa West Hon. David Bahati appreciated President Museveni and Government of Uganda for taking over Kabale as a Public University and pointed out that what it now lacks is infrastructure suitable for a modern University.
Kabale University Vice Chancellor Professor Joy Kwesiga said the University is in its second year of transition from Private to Public status and has a student enrolment of 2,666. Kwesiga appreciated Government for taking over the University and the Ministry of Education for its continued guidance and support. She specifically thanked President Museveni for always giving a listening hear and helping to address the issues of the University.
Professor George Mondo Kagonyera, Chancellor Kabale University and the Chairperson of the University Council Hon. Manzi Tumubweine expressed happiness at welcoming the First Lady on her maiden visit to their University. They emphasized the infrastructure challenge still facing the University.
Kabale District Chairman Patrick Besigye Keihwa appealed to Government to consider more funding for Kabale University and also implored the University administration, students and other stakeholders to maintain high standards of discipline, academic excellence and relevance of the University to the development of the region.
A series of academic activities were exhibited by the School of Medicine, Faculties of Engineering, Computing, Science, Tourism and Hospitality, the Institutes of Languages and the University Library.