The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has lauded the progress of the ADB-HEST projects worth USD 12 million at Mbarara University of Science and Technology saying the quality of the structures under construction speak for the amount of money invested in the work.
The Minister made the comments on Monday,10th April 2017 after an onsite tour of the ongoing construction works of the University library and a multipurpose Laboratory for the faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology located at Kihumuro Campus.
The First Lady poses with students The First Lady on the tour of the construction projects
She said she is visiting the University to see for herself how the projects are running, their speed, whether they will be completed on time and if the quality of work so far show it is of worth the amount of money invested in the project.
“I am happy to see what is happening at Kihumuro Campus because the projects that are ongoing look as I would have expected; they are good projects and it is good to know they will be completed on time,” she said.
She said the Education Ministry is establishing a culture to ensure that all programs and projects in the Ministry are planned, designed, implemented and completed on time. “We are going to get away from that history of a very poor culture that had become part of this sector”, she added saying she would visit all projects under her Ministry across the country.
Mrs. Museveni thanked Mbarara University’s leadership for the reputation of hard work that they have built over the years, establishing a quality University and for the kind of students produced who she said bring pride to the Country and Education sector because of their employability capacity.
She saluted the discipline of the students and urged them to establish a healthy relationship with the community and promote primary health care by teaching the communities about nutrition, sanitation, how to protect themselves from catching HIV and basics that can protect their families from becoming sick, instead of waiting to treat the sick.
She gave an example of Cuba, which she said has a healthy population and has continued to lead in health care because they put a lot of emphasis on primary health care. She said having a healthy population takes the burden away from the hospitals.
“We would like to look to Mbarara University to lead other Universities in providing the example that learning shouldn’t be just theory alone but must be seen in the community you live in and work with so that you continue to be role models of African Universities that we are crying out for”, she said.
Mbarara University has grown from 43 students since 1989 to 3500 students to date and from one faculty of medicine to six faculties with the youngest being the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology for which the government is funding through ADB-HEST to secure infrastructure development.
Mbarara University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Celestino Obua said that they need about Shs100 billion to achieve their dreams. He also pointed out that the University is still faced with a challenge of low levels of staffing and said failure to recruit staff will make them fail to become transformed into the fully-fledged Science and Technology University.
He cited two programs namely Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering and Environmental Management which were introduced but still require lecturers.
The Vice Chairperson of the University Council, Arch. Harry Kazahura informed the Minister that the University has a 10 year strategic plan whose objectives are to provide higher education, promote research, to disseminate knowledge and give opportunity of acquiring higher education to all persons. He called for more support to see the Kihumuro campus grow.
According to the contractor, Excel Construction Ltd Company, the work currently at 55% will be completed on time in 18 months and it is quality work.