Thriving on the Indian philosophy of “using so little to achieve so much”, Kampala University is spreading wings of education services beyond Ugandan boundaries.
With a current student population of about 10,000 at its main campus located in Ggaba just a few kilometers away from the capital city, Kampala, the university has opened up three independent universities in the East African region.
These include The East African university Kenya located in Kitengela sitting on 120 acres of land, The East African University Rwanda and the other in South Sudan.
“I have faith in what I’m doing and I have passion in education”, Kampala University Vice Chancellor and proprietor, Prof. Badru Ddungu Kateregga proudly says about his overwhelming entrepreneurial skills that have led to the growth of the university since its inception in 1999.
Prof. Kateregga’s perception perhaps explains why every student at Kampala University under takes a course in entrepreneurship.
“We train students that as much as office jobs are good, there is room for innovation through entrepreneurship, Education for life is very important so we not only teach students to work with the minds, but also train them to use their limbs to create work for themselves”, Prof. Kateregga who loves giving and sharing knowledge says.
In addition to entrepreneurship, every student who joins Kampala University studies a course in project planning and management, professional ethics and communication skills all of which have attracted students.
Given the public outcry and advocacy for practical courses to enable graduates acquire vocational skills; Kampala University is answering the cry by offering additional unique skills that Prof. Kateregga says are vital for making their graduates more marketable and relevant at the different work places.
The university is proud to own the best filming and production school in East and Central Africa. The course of film making and production according to Prof. Kateregga is a move that has enabled students to make money before they even think of looking for jobs.
He says that the same school has kept the graduates relevant in the job market and made the university accountable in fighting unemployment in the region.
Besides the filming school, the university is also playing a great role in solving the shortage of nurses in the East African region through a nursing school that is currently training over 450 students.
“Our school of Nursing passes out 200 students annually which supplements on what the public universities in Uganda are producing”, Prof. Kateregga says; adding that the university intends to increase the number with time to bridge the gap of health workers in the health sector.
Community outreach: The university has gone further to extend free entrepreneurship skills to the communities around. For example the university is carrying out a fishing project aimed at restocking Lake Victoria.
The university engages the community in running over five fish ponds at the university’s Luwero based campus where fish is farmed.
This is in addition to the different workshops organized for the communities on how to improve on their income generating activities.
Community members are given certificates at the end. Prof. Kateregga says over 400 have been awarded certificates in these projects.
Need for Government fund:
Though Kampala University is thriving on private funds, Kateregga says the government of Uganda needs to invest more money in the Education sector to enable universities carry out research that will generate new ideas relevant for National development.
“He notes that if Ugandans cannot control banana welt disease and coffee related diseases yet the country is among the leading coffee producers in the region; is a clear indication that there is little research being done which means there is a problem.
Effects of the Curriculum
Talking about the education curriculum in Uganda, the educationist says they have always advocated for the revamping of the curriculum to suit the current market demands but the National Curriculum Development Centre rarely consults the end users.
“We adopted the colonial curriculum that still teaches about Napoleon who does not bring food on the table”, he notes.
He also blames the private sector for their reluctance in joining hands with the education institutions to nature graduates with relevant skills.
“The private sector should not only complain about ill prepared graduates but should also follow what goes on beyond the gates of different education institutions”.
As a father and a parent in the education sector, Prof Kateregga advises graduates not to shun any kind of work.
“It’s those with work that get more work because fortune finds those who are moving and prepared”, Prof. Kateregga advises graduates.