President Yoweri Museveni has advised Makerere University leaders to teach market oriented courses that can enable students fit in the job arena and create wealth for themselves.
According to him, Uganda’s unemployment problem is mainly because students in high institutions of learning are being irrelevant courses that do not add value to the market hence they spend years and years searching for jobs after finishing university.
“It is unfair for a parent to pay for a discipline that has no market. That is why you find somebody who did development studies at the University walking for years until the shoe sole is off without finding a job,” he said.
This was during the installation of the new Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday at the university premises where the President was the Chief Guest.
Museveni applauded the Science Department at Makerere University for having done its part of carrying out excellent research that has put the University on the globe map.
He, therefore, encouraged the Faculty of Social Sciences to borrow a leaf from the Faculty of Science so that its students can also be competitive in the job market.
“I was happy to launch the Presidential Initiative for Research. We are going to add more funding to it. The Social Sciences Department should be prioritized because they are doing a great job. There is need to harmonize the department because it has a lot of discrepancies in it,” he remarked.
He also advised the students to use their knowledge to see how best to help the country and her citizens to develop.
“Academic independence does not mean academic abstinence. You are just sitting there and not helping people. Education is not a mere waste of pass time. When I was here, I gave a thesis. In my opinion, universities must be centers of ideology, technology and intellectuality. Academicians should not just talk about North and South poles. Engaging in knowledge that has no direction is to ‘Kukongola’,” said the President.
Museveni congratulated the new Vice Chancellor Prof. Nawangwe, upon his installation and also saluted Professor Ddumba for the great work he had done for the University.
In his acceptance speech, Prof. Nawangwe thanked Museveni and the First Lady Janet Museveni, who is also Minister of Education and Sports, for supporting the education system in Uganda.
He commended the entire Makerere University staff for putting the confidence in him to lead the institution.
The Vice chancellor promised to strengthen the committee that fights against sexual harassment, evaluating and monitoring the teaching in the University and safeguarding academic credentials to mention but a few.
He asked Museveni to intervene on the issue of land grabbers who wanted to steal the Land of Makerere University.
Professor Ddumba Ssentamu, the outgoing Vice Chancellor, thanked the President for the stable support to him during his five-year tenure of serving Makerere University especially the Presidential Initiative on research at the University.
“I am happy to pass the mantle to Professor Barnabas Nawangwe who was part of my staff during my tenure. May God continue to guard you during your time in Makerere University,” said Professor Ddumba.