The CU@School Project that was designed by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) has impressed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The President viewed this presentation during his visit to Makerere University today, 24th November, 2011.
The CU@School is a teacher: pupil attendance monitoring tool that uses an OpenXdata application that enables primary school head teachers to report pupil and teacher attendance to their District Education Officers. The collected data is also visible at the national level through a GIS interface. The project was implemented in partnership with SNV in the districts of Kiboga and Mbale and more recently Kyankwanzi.
The President had visited the University for the launch of the KIIRA EV, and two lines of production in Food Science and Technology. He was impressed by the number of innovations going on at Uganda’s premier and public university and asked the relevant ministries to look into more funding for the University and better remuneration for its staff.
The President on arrival first toured some of the innovations from the Colleges which included, the low cost irrigation pump- College of Engineering Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT); the Incubation Centre- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES); the role of natural products in health care delivery: Showcasing herbal/medicinal products in the treatment of Cancer and Diabetes-College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS); Extending HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, TB testing to inaccessible areas-College of Health Sciences (CHS) and a training/education model that aims at universal production and development- College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio Security (CoVAB)
With a smile on his face, the Head of State was then driven in the KIIRA EV from the exhibition ground at CEDAT upper parking to Food Science and Technology, where he addressed members of staff and students.
“I have told the ministries that in terms of remuneration, Scientists should be remunerated up to near international standards. We are going to increase the support for the Institutions. I have nothing but happiness and pleasure to have been here to launch the KIIRA EV and the two production lines in Food Technology. I encourage you to continue. Do not worry about the money, we shall look for it. With our oil, the issue of money will be nothing,’’ he emphasized amidst cheer from the gathering. The President thanked both students and staff of Makerere University for the innovations and promised to come back at a later date to see more.
His Excellency described these innovations at Makerere as a renaissance, adding that the institution has woken up from `a deep slumber,’ that has taken its toll on the African continent. He said Africa regressed technologically during the colonial era, but was glad that Makerere University is taking lead in innovations.
“I must salute Makerere. I will give you all the support. This is just a small beginning. Africa being out of technology has led to slavery, colonialism and marginalization but we can reverse and go back. I am really happy with what is happening here. You can be sure of all the support from Government in spite of our limited resources,’’ he added.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, thanked Government for supporting Makerere, adding that the University was committed to graduating students with potential to impact on society. He added that Makerere embraces commercialization and is ready for mass production in partnership with the Private Sector. This however awaits the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) bill before Parliament, to be passed into law.
The Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera asked Government to have a special unit in State House handling Small and Medium Enterprises, so that brilliant projects from students are not frustrated at the implementation phase.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, Prof. Tickodri Togboa, who was the lead Researcher for the KIIRA EV - was proud that Makerere’s Centre for Research in Transport Technologies was beginning to bear fruit, and revealed that by June 2013, the Centre will have built an electric bus. He thanked the team that had put efforts in having the KIIRA EV take off and asked them not to tire.