By Abraham Kizza
Four Ugandan universities are set to start Cultural heritage courses for people who have interest in advancing in cultural studies.
These courses which will be named “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable development” will start in the next academic year.
This was revealed by Emily Drani, Executive Director of Cross-Cultural Foundation (CCFU) during the 7th Annual Cultural Heritage Awarding Ceremony held at Nommo Gallery, Nakasero on Thursday.
“We have collaborated with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization¬) and decided to start up Cultural Heritage and Sustainable development courses in four universities in Uganda which is starting the coming academic year,” she said.
She added that “we are currently developing training materials for these courses.”
Among the universities where these courses will be trained are; Kyambogo University, Uganda Martyrs University, Kabale University and Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU).
The event which was characterized by traditional dances, folksongs, and games under the theme: ‘Illustrating traditional dances and their significance in the local context’ ended with awarding the winners of the 2017 Annual Cultural Heritage Competition.
The winners exhibited knowledge of their cultural identity including clans, totems and family linage. The winners also exhibited skills in cultural expression and performances, art and crafts, as well as appreciation and respect for cultural diversity.
Prof. Luutu Mukasa, the Vice Chancellor of the Marcus Garvey Pan Afrikan University who was the Chief Guest encouraged young people to always be conscious of the past, present and future of their culture.
“We need to cross that bridge between our cultures and recognize our commonalities. We should also go beyond our cultures so as to have the cultural diversity,” he said.
He also urged youth to be culturally humble to recognize other cultures other than their own.
“I want to urge all of you that the first act you have to reinforce every day is to be culturally humble,” he added.
Emily Drani said that this program, having started in 2011, has played a momentous role in enhancing young people towards recognizing and appreciating their cultural heritage.
She added that it has also played a significant role in training teachers to establish heritage clubs, providing of information on culture and motivational materials, and advocating for the inclusion of cultural heritage in the national secondary school curriculum.
“So far, 260 secondary school teachers have been trained by CCFU to establish and support 130 heritage clubs, in partnership with 16 Community Museums across the country,” said Drani.
The event was attended by cultural groups representing all parts of Uganda including; central, northern, eastern, southern and western regions.