By John Thawite and Karim Ssengendo
A total of 1,118 Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) graduands, were on Saturday awarded qualifications in various academic disciplines with a strong warning to the university to resist strikes in all its forms and any level.
The grandaunts included three doctors Johnson Baluku, Lawrence Baluku and Daniel Masereka and Susan Biira Thawite, daughter to the District Information Officer, all from Kasese district. Also
The function was presided over by the State Minister for Higher Education, Chrysostom Muyingo, who represented the Minister of Education and Sports Minister and First Lady, Janet Museveni.
Addressing the thousands of parents, guardians and other guests who braved a strong downpour at Kihumuro, the university’s new campus, Chrysostom Muyingo, saluted the University for resisting the “nasty culture of strikes.”
“But we have started seeing cracks and hearing signs of dissent at this prestigious institution,” Muyingo, noted.
He warned, “Have zero tolerance to indiscipline, whether of staff, students, parents and everybody who is a stakeholder of this university.”
“I am assuring Vice Chancellor, the (University) Council that for us at the ministry headquarters shall always give you the support, whether political or whatever necessary to fight indiscipline and will not play around with that culture,” Muyingo said.
He said government was grateful to the leadership of Mbarara university for their “exemplary leadership and for being true to role models to the country “
“The government of Uganda is slowly but surely fulfilling her promise to transform this campus (Kihumuro) into the main campus of Mbarara University,” he said, citing the construction of a modern since laboratory and a modern library as testimony of that promise to decongest the old campus.
He clanged the university leadership to take a more proactive role in understanding the country’s focus on training and research to meet the fast-changing job market.
Muyingo revealed that MUST was now a centre of excellency for pharmaceutical-technological research in Eastern and Southern Africa in career medicine.
Congratulating the graduands, Muyingo challenged them to aim for higher academic ventures, desiring what they received as “just the beginning“of their careers.
Stressing ICT as one of the government priorities, he challenged the graduate teachers to be compliant because “the students in the secondary schools where you going are quite advanced.”
“It would be quite unfortunate and embarrassing for you to start learning from your students. The time has now come that we must not only learn about ICT but we must practice it, talk ICT, think ICT, live ICT,”
He commended the parents for the sacrifices in education their children, saying sending them to MUST “was a very wise decision.”
He also hailed the Cuban government for having helped the university to kick-start the university over 20 years ago.
Earlier, the university Vice chancellor, Professor Celestino Obua, said the graduants included 489 or 41% females and 702 (59%) male.
Obua said they included 8 PHDs, 120 masters, 9 post-graduates, 25 undergraduate degrees, 1.027 undergraduate diplomas.
“We are awarding three post-humous degrees for Herbert Mukwaya, Alex Twesigye and Shariff Planga,” Obua announced.
he also apologised for the university failure to give out the certificates saying there had been a last-minute breakdown in the printing system.
Obua asked the university community to embrace violent-free conflict resolution since disruptions are counterproductive to all of them.
“It is difficult to go on strike when there is work to be accomplished,” he said and urged the graduands to aspire for integrity and to keep as alive as possible. ENDS