KAMPALA – At the beginning of each academic year, Makerere University organizes the Students Orientation Meeting which presents an opportunity to the University Administration to interact with new students. According to the Deputy Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions and Records Mr. Charles Ssentongo, during this meeting, students are given a comprehensive package that appeals to their academic and social wellbeing.
“They also receive relevant information and knowledge crucial to their stay at the university,” he mentioned.
The Freshers Orientation Meeting of the academic year 2019/2020 that was held on 5th August 2019, provided a glance to students of the youth related health issues such as sexual reproductive health; HIV/AIDs testing and counseling, health education, Vaccination/immunization among others. According to Dr. Josephat Byamugisha-the Director of Makerere University Hospital; a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. He therefore, urged students to take their health seriously and avoid circumstances that can affect their performances.
“Always ensure that you are in a clean environment. Be mindful of the health status of the relationships you are engaging in, take protective and preventative health measures, carry out regular health checkups; and engage in regular sports activities to stay both physically and mentally healthy,” he said.
He encouraged students to register with the university hospital in order to access health services.
According to Gene Tunney, to enjoy the glow of good health, one must exercise. The Head of Sports and Recreation Department Ms. Peninah Kabenge; therefore, called upon all freshers to join university sports activities to create and maintain close-knit human bonds and a social support network that will keep their bodies fresh and active. She rallied students to participate in the MakRun 2019 on 15th September 2019 to contribute to the construction of the Mak Student’s Centre.
In the same spirit, the Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango urged students to visit the various worshiping places found within the University to seek for spiritual healing.
According to Ms. Namisango, diseases occur when the mind, body, and soul are not working in harmony and in this case, there is need for God’s guidance and intervention for a healthy soul.
Mr. Henry Nsubuga who is the Manager-Counselling and Guidance Centre also encouraged students to fully utilize the counseling and guidance services provided at the center to get solutions to challenges that may affect their studies.
The Freshers Orientation 2019, held in the Makerere University Freedom square on Monday 5th August, was attended by both national and international students. The Academic Registrar Mr. Alfred Namoah-Masikye, congratulated the freshers upon joining Uganda’s oldest institution of Higher Learning. In a special way, he welcomed the international students to Makerere University, the epitome of knowledge and academic excellence in Africa.
“On behalf of Makerere University Community, it brings me great joy to welcome you to Makerere University. we are proud you chose to pursue your university education with us, and we are excited to help nurture your academic strengths, encourage your personal growth and inspire your creativity,” he said.
“You have passed through different stages of your education and entered into a new level where you will be held accountable for all your actions. Therefore, what you will learn here will be necessary tools needed throughout your life. Learning at Makerere University extends far beyond the classroom and I encourage you to be full participants in the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints that characterizes our university,” he added.
At the Orientation, the Dean of Students, Mr.Cyriaco Kabagambe briefed the students on the University rules and regulations. He urged the students to take their studies seriously and encouraged them to engage in other productive activities in order to maximally benefit from their stay.
We have so many activities going on at this institution, which include; sports, research and innovations, and religious activities. So many students have greatly benefited from these activities and I therefore, implore you to fully utilize them,” he said.
Representing the University Bursar, Mr. Everist. Bainomugisha, the Manager Accounts and Reporting Mr. Lubowa Javiira Sebiina advised the new students to enroll on AIMS (Academic Integrated Management System), generate a Payment Registration Number (PRN) and pay tuition on time. He called upon them to be aware of conmen and desist from gambling.
“Fees payment is due on your arrival at the university. Approach your college bursars to help you generate a PRN. You cannot make any payments without a PRN and endeavor to personally bank your tuition,” he said.
Reiterating the importance of registering, Dr. Ruth Nalumaga the Deputy University Librarian called upon students to register with the Makerere University Library and the College Libraries to be able to access Library services. Furthermore, she urged them to attend the Library orientation.
The Acting Director of Makerere University Gender and Mainstreaming, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine urged the incoming students to openly defy the sexual harassment vice and stand strong for their academic rights.
She encouraged students to acquaint themselves with the Makerere University Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment when she said, “the Policy clearly defines sexual harassment and provides its various forms. It provides details on whom you should contact and where to go in case you are harassed. Please let someone know right away in case a person is engaging you in actions that you don’t feel comfortable with. The University appointed the Sexual Harassment Committee, some of the members are placed at the respective colleges, don’t hesitate to contact them.”
On behalf of the 85th Makerere University Guild, H.E Kateregga Julius, the Guild President tasked students to be cautious of conmen and encouraged them to participate in the Guild activities. He also advised them to always contact the Guild Office for assistance and guidance on different aspects.
The Chief Security Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Achaye Phillip cautioned students to be mindful of the company they keep. “Avoid strangers in your residences, they could survey and steal your valuables,” he said. He further warned them to abstain from unlawful activities like practicing and mobilizing strikes, demonstrations and riots.