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    Nine Students To Represent Uganda In Huawei Global ICT Competition; To Battle Against 150 Teams From Over 40 Countries…

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    Some of the students who are going to represent Uganda (dressed in white) who are going to take part in the Huawei global ICT Competition

    Uganda will be represented by nine students; six from network track (Makerere University), and three from cloud track (Muni University) in the Huawei global ICT Competition final that is taking place this weekend.

    Huawei ICT Competition is a competitive ICT talent exchange program developed globally for university, college and TVET students. This aims to promote the healthy development of the ICT talent ecosystem and support the integration of industry and education.

    Launched in the African region just six years ago, the Competition has developed into the largest ICT skills competition in Africa and the world at large.

    The final will start with an opening ceremony on Friday 17th June 2022, then Saturday 18th June will be the examination day where the exercise will be conducted for five hours (written and lab exam). Uganda students shall battle over 150 teams globally representing over 40 countries.

    The results shall come out the following week on Tuesday 21st June.

    In May, 2022, Huawei, the leading ICT global solutions provider, awarded the 2021 Seeds for the Future Finalists and the 2021-2022 Huawei Regional ICT Competition finalists.

    Under the theme of “Connection, Glory, Future”, the nine month long Huawei ICT competition for Sub Saharan Africa was finalized on 19th February, 2022 with over 16 countries and 38 teams sitting for written and laboratory exams. The competition attracted over 15,000 participants from Sub-Saharan Africa from 500 universities.

    Globally, the Huawei ICT Competition 2021 covered over 80 countries worldwide, with 150 000 contestants from more than 2,000 universities and colleges.

    According to Huawei Uganda Public Relations Director, Mr Gaojian, “Huawei Uganda approached over 15 universities and interested them in the 2021 ICT Competition. We registered 750 students and opened for them our free online learning platforms in the various courses of Network and cloud. The network track consists of Datacom, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage. These studied and were subjected to preliminary exams, national exams and Regional exams where we attained the first and second position.”

    Michelle Chemutai, a telecom engineer, at Makerere University and one of the regional level winners, recently expressed her gratitude to the exposure Huawei had accorded to them.

    “The competition was very intimidating and at the same time exciting. The thought of competing with creme de la creme teams from different countries was frightening. Taking the first position made me really feel good about myself and increased my self-confidence. Thanks to Huawei,” she said.

    She added that, “This competition was a new experience for me as an individual. it taught me team work and coordination and that hard work actually pays off. This competition literally forced us to give in our best. Also, I got a lot of exposure in the network field and learnt how to do the practical lab configurations that isn’t taught at the university.”

    LEAP programme:

    In April this year, Huawei announced the launch of its LEAP digital skills development programme aimed at helping advance the ICT skills of more than 100,000 people across the Sub-Saharan Africa region within three years, according to the Chinese tech conglomerate.

    LEAP – an acronym for Leadership, Employability, Advancement and Possibilities – is aimed at fostering strong digital leadership and a skilled ICT workforce, building a digital talent pool, and promoting digital literacy among citizens. It includes a wide range of activities spanning from ICT training and certification courses to government digital capacity building and ICT skills competitions.

    Launching the LEAP programme, Huawei Southern Africa President, Leo Chen stressed the importance of ICT skills transfer and talent development and underlined Huawei’s consistent emphasis on it.

    “Digitisation is deeply rooted in people. Because we digitise for people and by people. When roots are deep, there is no need to fear the wind,” he said.

    “Through the programme, we strive to cultivate more youth leaders in ICT, who can explore more possibilities for themselves, their families, community and ultimately their nations.”

    According to the company, Huawei has, over the past two decades, helped advance the ICT skills of more than 80,000 people across the sub-Saharan Africa region. In doing so, it says it has helped increase youth employability and bridge the gender gap in the ICT industry. Huawei itself is an employer of choice in the region. Its subsidiaries in 9 Sub-Saharan African countries earned the Top Employer seal in 2021.

    With a series of talent ecosystem campaigns in Sub Saharan Africa, including the ICT competition, Huawei hopes to skill up more than 700,000 ICT professionals by 2023.

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    EDUCATION

    NRM Boss On Suicide Watch After URA Threatens To Auction His School Over Shs.400m Tax Debt… 

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    King Fahad Islamic primary school in Busega

    National Resistance Movement (NRM) Lubaga Division top mobilizer and also the proprietor of the Busega based King Fahad Islamic primary school is on suicide watch after Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) threatened to auction his school over tax evasion.

    Multiple credible sources at King Fahad Islamic primary school revealed to theGrapevine that their boss Sheikh Swaib Ssentomero is a frustrated man and he has intimated to friends that he is tired of his life.

    “We are keeping our eyes on his movements, he is very frustrated since URA slapped him with a huge tax pay receipt last month,” a source close to Swaib said.

    Sources said that URA told Ssentomero that the government is demanding him taxes worth Shs.400m which he protested but was not helped.

    Sources revealed that since then, Ssentomero has been looking for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s young brother Gen. Salim Saleh, senior presidential advisor on security Lt. Gen. Proscovia Nalweyiso and other top NRM party bosses for rescue him in vain.

    “Yes, I was told about his financial troubles, I will try to see how to help him because he has been our mobilizer,” Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, the NRM National Vice chairperson Buganda revealed.

    However, sources in URA told theGrapevine that the reason why many tycoons are in trouble over tax is because they have not been paying taxes and whenever URA demands for taxes from them, they petition their Godfathers to save them.

    The source further explained that this is the reason why their taxes have accumulated to exorbitant amounts which they think are too huge for them to pay.

    Efforts to speak to Sheikh Ssentomero were fruitless since his known phone numbers were off.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    EDUCATION

    UNEB Releases Timetable For PLE, UCE And UACE Candidates; Students Set To Begin Exams On 14th, October Until 9th Dec…

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    Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has released the 2022 timetable for the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations.

    Addressing press on Thursday, UNEB Executive Secretary, Mr. Dan Odong said that in line with the Board’s policy of inclusiveness and equitable assessment of learners’ achievements, braille versions of the timetables have been provided to cater for learners with visual impairment.

    Mr. Odong noted that soft copies are being uploaded on school portals, while the printed copies are now being packed along with other examination stationery.

    In a statement dated, 18th, August, Mr. Odong said that heads of Examination Centres and District Inspectors of Schools will be advised when to pick the materials.

    He asserted that headteachers should pick the brailed timetables of the blind students.

    “Headteachers who registered blind candidates should remember to pick the brailed time tables along with the other stationery,” the statement read in part.

    “The timetables include Regulations on the Conduct of the examinations and caution to candidates on acts that amount to examination malpractice.”

    Mr. Odong further contended that head teachers are requested to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to brief the candidates to follow these regulations and the caution given.

    He added, “Failure to comply with the regulations and caution indicated in the timetable shall lead to cancellation of results of a candidate or all candidates at the Center or disqualification from the examination.

    “Cases of examination malpractice that can lead to disqualification, cancellation of results or arrest of a candidate have been clearly spelt out on the timetable.

    “Parents are also advised to take keen interest in the timetable so as to support the candidates in every way possible.”

    Mr. Odong also revealed that this year’s national examinations will commence on 14th October, 2022, with the briefing of UCE candidates. UCE, which is the first series of examinations to be conducted, will run until 18th November, 2022.

    “The second series of examinations is the PLE which will be conducted from 7th-9th November, 2022, starting with the briefing of the candidates.”

    He divulged, “UACE will commence on 18th November 9th December, 2022. The Board appeals to head teachers to conduct these briefings personally.

    “The Board has noted previously, that where cases of irregularities and malpractice have been noted, the root causes have often been that candidates would have been poorly briefed, or not briefed at all.”

    According to UNEB, a total of one million, two hundred eighty thousand, one hundred and seventy-two (1,280,172) candidates have registered for all the three levels of the final examinations. This indicates a percentage increase of 7.7% of the total candidature.

    56 % of the total candidature seven hundred and fifty-one, three hundred thirty-six (751,336) learners are funded by the Government, while 44% five hundred and sixty-four thousand, eight hundred thirty-six (564,836) candidates are privately sponsored.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    EDUCATION

    Government To Review Food Allowances For Government Sponsored Students At Makerere From Shs.4500 To Shs.10000…

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    Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

    Government has pledged to review food allowances for government-sponsored students at Makerere University from Shs.4500 to Shs.10,000.

    This decision was made today in the office of the deputy speaker, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa together with the leadership of Makerere University led by the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara and Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

    During the meeting, they discussed issues affecting the institution and how best parliament can collaborate with the institution.

    Vice Chancellor Nawangwe requested Parliament to review the food allowances for government-sponsored students from the current Shs.4500 to Shs.10,000 a day.

    “This has been discussed by the Parliamentary committee on the Ministry of Education and Sports for several years and it was even a subject of riots for several times,” Nawangwe said.

    He added that the figures they give students of Shs.4500 per day was allocated 10 years ago.

    He added that the committee proposed many years ago to raise the amount to Shs.10,000 so that the students are able to have two meals a day.

    “Unfortunately, we have not succeeded in getting that allocation over the years and we will be happy if parliament takes interest in this.”

    In response to the matter raised, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa pledged to look into the funding of meals for the students.

    “You cannot feed at Shs.4500 three times a day, adding that the money is not enough even for ‘kikomando’.

    He added, “As parliament, we welcome the proposal you have given us and we are going to meet as the leadership of parliament with a view of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with you so that you can always support Parliament in its Legislative role,”

    Among other issues that were discussed was that the university had to take a central position in the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) through collection and provision of vital data.

    The senior leadership also highlighted possibilities of support from Makerere to Parliament which include; providing policy input through policy briefing papers, review of legislative proposals and expert testimony in the policy process before Parliamentary Committees.

    “Data and analysis on key development aspects and on the performance of government programmes to inform policy and legislative interventions. Provision of Library services including access to the e-library resources for MPs and Parliamentary Staff and the retooling of Parliamentary Staff.”

    During the meeting, Parliament also committed support of Shs. 50 million towards the Makerere At 100 celebrations.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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