KAMPALA – Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has said that Uganda is shifting from mass education to specialized skilling where UTAMU has a niche over other institutions in technology, management style and innovation disciplines.
Speaking during the 5th graduation ceremony of Uganda Technology And Management University (UTAMU) in Uganda at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi- Kampala, where he was chief guest, the Vice President said that skilling people in such fields positions Uganda and East Africa on a firm growth pattern to fast track development as enables the people to remain connected to the global technological village.
The Vice President said that the NRM government liberalized the education sector with a view to enabling everyone to access quality education adding that only those institutions that offer market oriented education are set to benefit more.
He called upon the management of UTAMU to further education through online teaching with a vision of becoming a global institution in technology, management science, innovation and research.
The Vice President said that government realized in the late 1980s, the low levels of science and technology graduates and its importance to development hence the vision of starting Mbarara University of Science and technology in 1989 as the second public university in Uganda.
Ssekandi noted with regret that UTAMU doesn’t have an undergraduate programme to produce science teachers yet government’s focus in secondary schools in on teaching the fundamentals of Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics, (STEM) disciplines. He urged them to contemplate starting it henceforth in Bachelor of Science in Education initially targeting Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Economics and Geography.
The Vice President advised the graduands to gear up for further education to acquaint themselves with changing technologies and also live their lives responsibly, by avoiding HIV/AIDS, avoiding drug abuse and criminality.
The Chancellor of UTAMU who is also former Vice President of Kenya, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka said education coupled with innovation is key if one is to remain relevant in the new world order and urged the graduands to put emphasis on creating jobs with their acquired knowledge.
Kalonzo Musyoka said young universities have challenges of transition but expressed gratitude that UTAMU, despite its young age, is marked among the top 20 universities in Africa.
He hastened UTAMU to start collaborations with institutions in Kenya, Nigeria and other universities of the world.
“You will be judged by character of contents and one’s training and not by colour of place of origin,” Musyoka said.
He challenged the university work tirelessly and secure it’s charter which is its address as well as work on getting it’s own campus.
The Chairman Board of Directors of UTAMU, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba said that the university has leased land for 99 years under the Catholic Church in Mutugga and plans are underway to construct their permanent campus.
He said that start its vital to see one’s self as a lion and that the global economy is about positioning oneself strategically to take opportunities as they come and added that UTAMU is set to begin giving free scholarships to best students in the country to tap from their talents.