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Embracing New Normal? UCU Students To Choose New Leaders By E-mail In A Scientifically Arranged Guild Election….

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Uganda Christian University (UCU) has embarked on the process of conducting students’ guild elections using its own e-voting application named ‘e-Chagua,’ conjoined from a Kiswahili word meaning ‘choose’. Such an election will be the first ever of it’s kind in the Ugandan Universities Guild elections set up.

The university is expected to conduct the voting exercise on November 16. The submission of applications by students interested in various positions starts on October 19th to 23rd to allow the vetting process commence.

According to Bridget Mugasira Mugume the Director of Student Affairs, all is set for the exercise that starts today with nominations which will be followed by online campaigns.

She says online elections will not only ensure students’ safety from Covid-19, but also enable the university to save the huge sums of money usually spent on normal elections.

“The application also aims at reducing the time and costs spent during the election process. At the main campus alone, about 35 million Shillings is spent on logistics and the entire process of electing student leaders,” Mugasira said, disclosing that this term’s election budget is most likely to drop down to 19 million.

The students are to vote using their e-mail accounts.

The Chairperson of the guild Electoral Commission Boss John Bruce has assured students of a free and fair election.

The University shall conduct its general campaigns using various online platforms used for conducting studies and then also a debate for guild presidents to be conducted on television.

Since the University has resumed studies online, it cannot deliberate students matters without their representatives on the various university administrative bodies as required by the National Council for Higher Education regulations.

The current students’ council term is ending this month and most of its members are finalists. The Director of Students Affairs-DOSA Bridget Mugasira says the university is fortunate to have invested in developing the online voting app which is now ready to allow the entire student fraternity participate in the exercise.

UCU Web and e-learning Administrator Edwin Byarugaba explains that the e-voting system is designed with a voter’s registers section where student details are recorded and once the student is on a voter’s register, the system accepts him to generate a password to login and vote once.

Byarugaba says that the app has been tested through a sample election of theology college representatives where it turned out successful. The system can allow about 10,000 students participate at ago.

He further notes that it has been approved and accepted by the university council and the current students’ guild council. It shall be accessed by all students using MTN lines at a zero rate.

About 8,000 students are expected to participate in the election process. Elections for leaders at the main campus and Kampala campus shall be conducted first and then other campuses the following week.

 

By Baron Kironde

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EDUCATION

Police Warns School Owners, Teachers And Parents Against Discriminating Pregnant School Going Girls…

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Following the announcement by UNEB, allowing pregnant girls in candidate classes to register for their final exams, police has issued a cautionary notice to school owners, teachers and parents against acts of discrimination and stigmatization of pregnant school girls.

Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga stated that every pregnant student has the same education rights as every other girl student.

Enanga said that the COVID-19 period has been burdensome for girls more than boys especially in unsupervised/uncontrolled settings, and as a result, girls were vulnerable to sexual abuse, pregnancy and even child marriages.

He disclosed that even with the new developments, girls with early pregnancies are still facing challenges of returning to school citing fear of being ridiculed, discriminated against, shyness, low self-esteem, fear of being frowned at and being labeled young mothers, harassment from peers.

“In addition some of the parental attitudes and the insensitive school environments and other public space may work against the furtherance of education for these pregnant girls. Already on social media, we can see people making fun and mockery of pregnant pupils,” he said.

Enanga advised that instead of discriminating against them, the public needs to instead let the girls know the prospects of returning to school, and that they have the potential to excel and overcome the challenges they are facing.

Enanga, on behalf of the Police force called upon all Head teachers, Parents, Guardians, LCs and other stakeholders to ensure students who are with early pregnancies, are protected and continue to participate in class and extracurricular activities. He also advocated for those in advanced pregnancies to be facilitated with reasonable adjustments in the learning environment and allow time for missed work in their homes.

 

By Baron Kironde

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CRIME

She Is Mentally Disturbed – Gayaza High School Speaks Out On Female Student Who Was Caught Night Dancing Naked…

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Ms. Kizito Robinah Katongole, the headteacher Gayaza High School has in a public statement clarified on the incident where a girl from the same school was reportedly caught night dancing at the school premises.

“Gayaza High School has learnt and noted with concern the sociall media publications of a video clip and photographs posted yesterday alleging the improper conduct of one of our students,” partly reads the awareness statement.

The letter from Gayaza HS headteacher

The Gayaza High School headteacher strongly repudiated popular reports making rounds on various media platforms that the incident happened at the school’s premises.

She however also acknowledged that the pictures and video evidence of the accused female are indeed those of a figure synonymous with the school, having once studied and left the same school over years ago.

“Gayaza High School would like to clarify that the incident did not happen at the school. We have also established that the pictures show a former student who finished S6 in 2014 and has since her University days suffered mental health challenges,” described the statement by the high school’s headteacher.

She added that the school is stringing together efforts to get in touch with her parents to ensure that she gets the necessary medical attention.

“We deeply sympathize with the family and pray that all efforts to restore her mental health materialises,” she added.

By Baron Kironde

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EDUCATION

I’m Still Waiting For Professor Baryamureeba’s Ugandan Made Computer – M7 Calls For A Change In The Education System…

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Professor Baryamureeba (L) and President Museveni (R)

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni yesterday engaged teachers at State House Entebbe during the National Celebrations of the International Teachers’ Day.

He congratulated them upon reaching the milestone, and commended the teachers for a job well done.

Museveni emphasised government’s core position towards improving the salaries of teachers, health workers, soldiers and government scientists. “I need you the people to talk to your MPs to agree with this,” he said.

The president also revealed that he is very much aware of the salary disparities among government workers where some are taking home so much, while others are earning so little. He said that the Unified Salaries Board shall have a review to that to address the matter.

Museveni urged teachers all over the country and the Ministry of Education to tailor a system that is synonymous to the needs of the people. “We should teach what will help Uganda and Africa move forward,” he said.

“One time I called Professor Venancius Baryamureeba, yes, that one who was at Makerere University. I said to him that since you are a serious computer wizard/Scientist, please make for us one computer. Up to now, he has never gotten back to me,” Museveni mockingly stated, citing a need of change in the education system.

“This is because the pre-colonial education trains children to use other people’s computers rather than making their own. In light of this year’s theme and the pandemic effects, it is the time for teachers to reimagine the future and lead us through this crisis,” he added.

Speaking about the Pandemic, Museveni noted that in the 7 months that it has prevailed, he has not heard that a child has died from Corona Virus. “However much some may have got pregnant which is indeed terrible, but at least they did not die, death is irreversible,” he added.

As the scheduled days for reopening schools near, the president warned against the consistent complacency by people and communities, he called upon the transporters to observe SOPs such that school going children can be transported safely.

“To everyone in Uganda, please be inspectors of COVID compliance in the transport sector. If someone is not following the regulations, you can boycott them. All this is to protect our children,” Museveni advised.

He further warned that teachers should also be careful as they move from home to school. He suggested that if possible, schools can have an arrangement to accommodate teachers at school since there will be enough space as only candidate classes will be using the school.

Meanwhile for the rest of the children home, Museveni promised that every family will get a radio to enable long distance learning. “I know many have lambasted this program, yes it might not be perfect, but has some advantages, for instance; One good teacher can be shared by many students who were not in his school. Also it is better than dying,” he noted.

According to Museveni, he ranked Uganda as number 1 in the whole world in the fight against COVID 19.

 

By Baron Kironde

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