Freshers admitted to Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) have been cautioned to guard against examination malpractice, sexual harassment, and any form of indiscipline. “Your objective is to be successful to earn a degree”, freshers were told.
The College leadership, members of staff from and other university units were speaking to freshers admitted in the academic year 2022/2023 during the orientation ceremony held in Big Lab 2.
The orientation ceremony was presided over by the Principal CoCIS represented by the Ag. Deputy Principal Dr. Peter Nabende.
Dr. Nabende welcomed and congratulated freshers to the college and emphasized the need for students to know a number of actors including the college management, staff, and student leaders so that they can direct their concerns to the responsible offices.
“I would like to congratulate you for making it to this college. Many people would have desired to be here. Yours is a unique cohort because of the difficulties the world has been having with the COVID situation we end ended up with challenges but with God’s grace you managed to come,” He said.
Nabende explained that CoCIS to a greater extent is an old but one of the most modern relevant colleges in the current times offering programmes that impact all other disciplines and domains.
The Principal informed freshers that the college has its own vision, mission, and core values accessible on the website with statements spelling out a number of attributes that must be reflected in students going through the programs.
“You applied alone, and on coming here, you join a group or an ecosystem with different actors. The university itself is an ecosystem with an external environment with several things. Your life and your journey are in your hands. The college has a number of academic, counseling, sports, religious, and health facilities for utilization but your success will largely depend on the decisions make as an individual.
Your objective in coming here is to be successful to earn your degree but their other things you do here, there is social life and many platforms in the university where you can explore different aspects of social life in terms of entertainment, faith sports, and in all these, it is up to you to know the regulations”. The Principal stressed.
Zero tolerance to examination malpractice and sexual harassment
Dr. Joab Agaba from the Department of networks advised freshers on matters of eLearning, a program for training, the timetable, examination malpractice, matters of faith, and sexual harassment.
He said Makerere university uses two approaches to teaching that is physical meetings with lecturers and online learning where zoom adds that lecturers will be communicating via student leaders to pass on links. he implored students to at least have a smartphone or be near a friend with it.
Agaba said the training will be conducted for freshers on how to access learning materials from the university eLearning platform MUELE and how to get email accounts and access online content.
“One thing you can do to yourself when you come to Makerere is to fail to listen to instructions. Even if you are big-headed, this is my advice- Makerere follows order. If it Is time to register or get email addresses, please run, if not, life will be difficult for you. “The timetable is online and should be downloaded on phones. Do not miss classes.
At Makerere, we give zero tolerance for examination cheating. Do not dare, once caught the process is very simple, you cooperate with examiners, sign a report admitting your mistake they call you, face a panel of mean-looking people, and you can be a one-year suspension or dismissed depending on the gravity of the matter”. Agaba warned
Agaba informed students that sexual harassment is a vice that has been around for some time. He encouraged freshers to watch out adding that both girls and boys are sexually harassed.
“A lecturer has no right to demand sex from you for marks, no right to take advantage of teaching you to demand to sleep with you. Makerere university has a sexual harassment policy which is very clear that once you feel someone is taking advantage of you, you have a right to report it”. Agaba warned
There are many avenues of reporting. Each college has people who were appointed by the Vice Chancellor to approach. The university also runs a project dubbed KISH- Kicking Sexual Harassment out of higher education institutions which provides a safe online portal (kish.mak.ac.ug) where one can access documents guiding on how to guard against sexual harassment, knowing their rights and how to approach a sexual harassment case and an online course that leads to a certificate,
Speaker after speaker advises students in their area of responsibility wishing them all success in their career paths
The students were furnished with information and advice on a number of issues ranging from admission, fee payment and registration, the University academic calendar, and change of program. They were also advised on matters of social life, personal security, general conduct while at the university, and the new norm of online teaching and learning.
The College Registrar Mr. Patrick Feni advised students to register on time to be counted as Makerere students adding that this is only possible after paying the required fees.
“It is mandatory to register to become a Bonafede student of Makerere University. In case you want to withdraw, you must first register and pay 60% fees and functional fees,” Mr. Feni advised.
Feni urged students to utilize their time responsibly noting that informed Semester I begins on 5th February 2022 and throughout May while Sem II will end on September 15th, 2022. The Registrar also cautioned students against the change of program unless it’s called for and done an informed decision.
The registrar also informed students that the university deals with processes with all activities guided by rules, regulations, and policies which they must acquaint with.
The College Librarian implored students to make use of the library.
“Makerere University has a main Library and 10 college Libraries open Monday to Saturday. I encourage you to come to the library even when you are not going to use the physical books, there is space for you to read from and the library is also open to you for online resources. The library also has electronic resources that you can use for your course works and assignments,’ Caroline Alako said.
Robert from the Guidance and Counselling unit notified students of the availability of socio-psycho support services when faced with life challenges.
“Mental health is real and may impact your normal academic progress. Reach out to someone for help whenever confronted with challenges beginning with their student leaders, Heads of Departments, and the Deans and Principals, and visit the Counselling unit.
The University is different from a secondary school and no one is going to chase you around to go to classes. You may lag behind in your academics, fail some papers, retake some and if things don’t go well, you may be asked to stay put”.
Serwanga Peter Williams an accountant advised students not to go to the bank to ask for paying slips but ensure that the payment reference number is from their portals or else risk losing money in a dubious process. He also advised students carefully read and understand instructions on the portals before paying fees.
Representing the Dean East African School of Library and Information Sciences, Mwanje Senono, welcomed students to the school describing it as the oldest in East Africa, teaching library sciences.
“We welcome you to be part of this achievement. You are lucky that you are starting a new program which we have just revised. Initially, we had a Bachelor of Records and Archive Management. We now have a new programme with three tracks: – Library science, Records management then Data and Knowledge management. So, you take one track from year two and you finish”. He said
Kabuye Mathias a Registrar at the School of Computing and Information Technology advised students to reach out to the office when challenged in matters of registration and avoid advice from friends.
“Our major function is registration. You are not yet a student of this institution until you complete the registration process. The provisional admission downloaded is just a set of instructions for you to get registered. The fees policy is to pay all the money.”
Representing the Director DICTS, Robert Tuhaise an eLearning administrator gave highlights of the ICT resources in the university and how to access these resources. The resources include: – the e-learning portal, the application portal (apply.mak.ac.ug), the student portal (myportal.mak.ac.ug / student.mak.ac.ug ) and sso.mak.ac.ug, muele.mak.ac.ug among others.
Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS