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Monday, December 6, 2021

Uganda: Government tasks varsities to focus on research, innovation

Shabibah Nakirigya

Uganda’s Education ministry has urged institutions of higher learning to channel their energies and finances in carrying out research and innovation, a measure, government said will help tame unemployment in the country.

Mr George Mutekanga, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Private schools and Institution of Higher Learning, said that universities and tertiary institutions should be a cornerstone in resolving the unemployment puzzle particularly among the youth.

“Our biggest concern is that we have so many graduates who are unable to do what we expect them to do and the problem comes from universities which are not doing their best in terms of research.

“They must carry out research and find out the gaps why graduates are not doing well,” Mr Mutekanga said on Thursday while speaking at the 5th graduation ceremony of International University of East in Kampala.

Uganda has over 35 universities but majority produce graduates who cannot find jobs or even create theirs.

“Higher institutions of learning must ensure that they include research on their programme so that student improve their hands-on component because without research they are like schools not universities,” Mr Mutekanga added.

Dr Nishikant Sonwalkar, a guest speaker at the graduation ceremony proposed that Ugandans adapt online learning, which can help transfer skills from developed countries to least developed ones like Uganda.

“We need to turn to the new frontier in the educational technology that allows creative thinking and learning, the mobile, augmented reality, collaborative can help much to provide information to everyone,” he said.

He added that with online learning, learners can access directly from the researchers and provide numerous learning path ways to conduct creative learning and encourage student to explore creative ways of learning with brain wave adaptive learning process.

“I encouraged students to become creative leaders in their professional and know that there is always creative solution to any problem that they will face,” he said.

The university Chancellor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said that moving forward into 2019 and beyond, IUEA will continue to pioneer a relevant and quality education especially in science and technology.

“Through using innovation in our learning strategies, we will make quality education accessible to the greatest number of people in Africa, regardless of language, background, age or nationality,” he said.

Over 400 graduates were awarded certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degree and masters in different disciplines, which include information technology, computer science, Science in environment and management , Science in software engineering, civil engineering and many more.

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