By Komakech Jimmy

On Saturday, January 11th, 2020, Gulu University held its 15th graduation ceremony where a total of 1,513 students graduated with masters degrees, post graduate degrees, bachelors, diplomas and certificates.

Only one student graduated with PhD (Ms. Otim Sarah Agnes) in factors affecting Honey Colonies in Uganda. There were 643 female and 870 male graduands. there were also 32 first class degrees combined from all the faculties.

The event was hosted at the university grounds with President Yoweri Museveni as the Guest of Honor. The president challenged the graduands to use the knowledge acquired from the institution to create their own jobs. “Human activity is about solving the needs of society; people need food, they need health. Shelter, that is another need – the house where to sleep. Clothing, mobility. In the past, we were walking, we did not need a mechanism of transport but now we need assistance in moving around. Entertainment, communication so the courses you’re running here which [need] are you going to solve? If you answer that question correctly, you’re not going to fail. Don’t train just for just.” said Museveni.

The graduands listening to the speeches

The president also outlined four crucial sectors in the country that universities must explore and train learners to generate and create more employment opportunities for the youth graduates across Uganda.  Museveni also gave a green-light for the construction of an 8-billion shillings Gulu university teaching hospital and contributed 100 million shillings towards the staff Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (Sacco).

The construction follows numerous requests made by George L Openjuru, the  Gulu university vice chancellor for support for the construction of a new senate building at 14 billion shillings, administration block Shs 16 billion and Shs 45 billion to aid the general expansion of the university.

Prof Openjuru disclosed that Gulu university never benefited from the government seed funding programme to universities, which others like Lira, Muni and Soroti universities among others received for infrastructural development.

The university chancellor, Professor Frederick Ian Bantubano Kayanja, tasked the graduands to use the available opportunities of job creation instead of looking for jobs after their graduation.

Meanwhile, the University administrators submitted their requests to president Museveni to support the university in harnessing and addressing the challenge of getting the land title for the university land where it is operating by degazetting to  avoid claims that it belongs to the National Forestry Authority-NFA .

This quest was presented before the president by the University Vice Chancellor Professor Openjuru at the main campus in Laroo Division, Gulu Municipality

The University Chancellor professor Frederick IB Kayanja said the institution is still in need of more assistance from the government to facilitate conducive learning at the university

Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, the state minister for higher education said his ministry will always equip the university with necessities to facilitate learning, urging the university to emphasize imparting soft skills knowledge and entrepreneurship on the students

The president Museveni said that the National Forestry Authority should find somewhere else to exercise their tree planting but not at the university land.

The said land that is accommodating Gulu University was listed by Gulu district authority when the university was starting in 2002 but the land was belonging to National Forestry Authority and was being used as the district agricultural centre. End. newsroom@radiopacis.org