I greet you all and I thank God for guiding us through the forty-two days of the lockdown and bringing us to this relaxed phase of the fight against Covid-19. During the period before the lockdown and during the lockdown, the university lost some staff members and students to both Covid-19 and other diseases. I send my condolences to those who lost loved ones and pray to God to comfort you. Glory be to God for healing many of our colleagues and their loved ones who were afflicted by this disease. I thank the President of Uganda for the leadership and guidance in the fight against the Pandemic. His efforts and those of the National taskforce have brought us this far and we must show our appreciation as we prepare for the projected 3rd wave. I want to thank the Government for the efforts to procure vaccines despite the hoarding by the wealthy developed countries. I urge everyone to get vaccinated when the opportunity presents itself. Please listen to Science.
Working after the lockdown
In his address, the President allowed Government departments to work at 20%, up from 10% as was in the lockdown. In addition, Public and private transport were allowed to operate though with restrictions on numbers of passengers.
This implies that many of us can now access the university to continue working. So, I encourage heads of departments to come up with schedules that allow staff to work in rotation. For those staying at home, I encourage you to work on line.
The university continued operating through the lockdown. Meetings of Senate, Top Management, Council and its committees continued online. As the situation has not improved especially with a projection of increased cases after the lockdown before a downward trend, I encourage members to continue meeting online to limit crowding and exposure.
We shall also follow the general guideline that teaching and learning continue online until such a time when many students and staff are vaccinated and it is safe to fully reopen educational institutions. We are aware of the challenges faced by staff and students which include the cost of data, lack of access wherever students stay, no power to charge the gadgets in use, lack of these gadgets, etc. With the effects of the pandemic not abetting, we must be innovative and switch to new normal. I, therefore, urge parents and guardians to invest in the education of their children which should include buying laptops, ipads, smartphones for students so that teaching and learning can continue. Staff is also encouraged to embrace Open, Distance, and online learning and continue finding ways and means of keeping in touch with the students.
The University will soon procure zoom licenses to allow many students to access online teaching at the same time. This is particularly important for the large classes.
There have been false information circulating on social media that Kyambogo University will conduct online examinations. Senate has not discussed this matter and it should be regarded as fake news and ignored.
17th Kyambogo University Graduation
Senate at its meeting on Friday 30th July 2021 decided to hold the 17th Graduation from 21st – 23rd September 2021. It will be virtual with a limited physical presence. I, therefore, urge the DVC (AA), Deans and Heads of Departments, Academic registrar, Ceremonies Committee, University Secretary, and Procurement Committee to set the ball rolling to handle their respective activities to ensure a successful graduation. Parents and Students have waited for this for a long time and I thank Senate for taking this stand. We must move now especially as the lockdown has been lifted. I will be monitoring the progress of various committees to ensure that we achieve this target.
Prospective graduating students are encouraged to clear with the relevant university departments in order for them to graduate.
The programme will be released soon and the university will invite the Visitor as our chief guest.
Restructuring of Kyambogo University/ Validation of teaching staff
The University Council approved a new structure for the University in October 2020 and it was subsequently approved by the Ministry of Public Service in November 2020. The rearrangement has increased the number of faculties from and the number of academic departments. In addition, other structures e.g The Institute of Open Distance, E-Learning, and Learning centres was created and the School of Graduate studies was upgraded to a Directorate and will now be headed by a Director of Research and Graduate Training. The exercise to validate teaching staff is nearly complete. Validation and the staff audit before that revealed the staffing gaps in various teaching departments. This will guide our next steps and prioritization of those areas that are really critically short of staff. Additionally, I have urged the Appointments Board to quickly consider retaining those graduate fellows who have completed their Masters degrees before their contracts expire towards the end of August. I thank all members of the teaching staff who participated in this exercise which was virtual. This is evidence that we can continue working and achieve more through online and distance engagements.
I wish to congratulate the staff of Kyambogo University whose children performed well in UPE and UCE examinations which were released by the Hon Minister of Education and Sports recently. May God bless these children as they build their careers with the support of their parents.
Join me also in congratulating and thanking our Olympians, Ms. Chemtai, Mr. Kiptegei, and Mr. Kiplimo for making Uganda shine on the world stage. May God bless their efforts.
Lastly, I thank the Government of Uganda for continuously guiding the country on how to proceed in this dangerous situation. We await further guidance on reopening universities and programmes for vaccination. I encourage everybody who hasn’t been vaccinated to go for it when the opportunity arises. Let us listen to science and obey the SOPs.