The Bernard Onyango Academic Excellence Ace Awards were successfully kicked off with two students from St. Peters College Tororo as first beneficiaries.
Isaac Munu, the best O-level student in this school sat for UCE exams in 2013, scoring distinctions in all eight subjects.
The best A-level student Ernest Wandera scored 21 aggregates in his U.A.C.E exams.
In their acceptance speeches during an award ceremony held at Silver Springs Hotel, both students pledged to stay committed to their studies. They were presented with plaques, certificates and cash prizes to cater for school fees and pocket money.
The historic day started with a memorial public lecture at Makerere University, presented by Uganda’s former Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi on ‘Promoting Academic Distinction, Administrative Excellence and Enduring Integrity in Contemporary Uganda.
“There are many honest people who have failed to make a mark in any field. So it is the ability to combine both excellence and integrity that is being celebrated today, and it is a quality we need to commend whenever we see it, because it is a rare commodity and even becoming more scarce by the day,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, commended the late Bernard Onyango for laying a firm foundation for the Academic Registrar’s Department. “During his tenure as Academic Registrar, the late Bernard Onyango put a lot of emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency of the management of records, particularly students’ records. Through him, the team in the Academic Registrar’s Department learnt the value of efficiency, customer satisfaction and integrity. The late Bernard Onyango is also remembered as a strong force in the process that led to the highly successful affirmative action scheme for girls joining Makerere University,” he said.
He was grateful to St. Peters College Tororo Old Boys Association, SPECTOBA, for initiating the memorial lecture and the inaugural Bernard Onyango Academic Excellence Awards’ adding that Makerere University, through the Department of the Academic Registrar, is committed to hosting the lecture annually.
Speaking at the dinner, a representative of the Bernard Onyango family, Prof. Joseph Oloka-Onyango challenged SPECTOBA to see to the sustainability of the awards so that they do not come to an end prematurely.
The Chairman SPECTOBA, Wilbrod Owor, was grateful to all sponsors and well-wishers who have so far supported the cause. Makerere University pledged 5m shillings towards the BO Ace Awards. Bernard Onyango was the first Academic Registrar at the time this Institution became a fully-fledged University in 1970.
By Marion Alina