Four freshers from the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) won gifts worth 100 thousand shillings each in an Orientation Raffle as a way of welcoming freshers’ to the university on 8th February, 2022.
The scholastic package comprised a school bag, a ream of printing paper, books, pens, a diary, a college file folder and a ruler.
Over 700 first year students assembled for the CoCIS college-wide orientation in the Big Lab 2, level 2, Block B where they were addressed by the college leadership led by the Principal Prof. Tonny Oyana and administrative staff.
After listening to the different speeches, students were given orientation raffle tickets and a few randomly selected and asked questions to test their attention, comprehension and listening skills during the orientation exercise.
Some of the questions poised included who the Academic Registrar of Makerere university is, the name of CoCIS Principal, the university title for the head of a school and department under which specific programmes fall in the college. Freshers were also asked how many blocks make up CoCIS, where deans and heads for specific units sit in the college and to spell out common abbreviations such as CoCIS, EASLIS, SCIT etc.
The Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana welcomed new students to the university and the college in particular. Oyana tipped freshers on key issues to success imploring them to balance academic and social life.
“Social life is part of the academic success. Do your work and focus on academics as your number one priority. Studying is painful and not fun but, these painful experiences are good for character development and success in life.
Exercise self-discipline and avoid joining the choir of strikes because you will be dismissed alone. Be thoughtful of your actions that is why you are in the university to think for yourself”, Prof. Oyana warned.
Referring students to the Book of James in Bible, the Principal emphasised virtues including character, wisdom and endurance. Oyana said, young people normally want easy things and give up easily. He advised freshers not to apportion blame on lecturers but, always ask how much effort they put in to understand their instructors.
“Be good citizens, don’t do bad things, go and do well , enjoy the university and make friends”, the professor advised.
The Dean School of Computing and Informatics Technology Assoc. Prof. Gilbert Maiga inducted students on the composition of the school, departments and the role of the school dean.
Dr. Maiga informed students that they have joined the university which now they must know is 100 years since it was founded with a very proud tradition of academics in Uganda, the region, Africa and the continent.
He warned students not put socialising, sports and prayer at the center, but prioritise academics pledging to offer the necessary support required to make their study at Makerere enjoyable.
“My prayer is that you will do what it takes to get a degree. When you are here, conduct yourself according to those traditions. Let’s build this country as per our motto, We Build for the Future.
While at university the central focus is academics. There are other things like socialising, sports that support the central theme. I encourage you to take 80% of your time to study, there are people to support you”. Dr. Maiga advised.
The Chair Department of Computer Sciences Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha said although it has been a long wait to have the students due to COVID 19 challenges, the department has been preparing and was glad to receive the freshers.
Bainomugisha informed students of the programmes offered in the unit describing the BSc in Computer Science as the entry level program they will undertake as they advance to other offers.
“You made a good choice because we are in a digital transformational era where we are expected to find computational ways to solve complex societal problems and you must be ready.
When others are complaining about online teaching and learning, start thinking of how you can innovate to make online learning more interesting. You have selected the best place to offer you computer science because its known and the education you receive will be at the level offered worldwide”, Dr. Bainomugisha asserted.
Bainomugisha implored freshers to have the required tools and to be ready to balance and appreciate theory and practicals so as to acquire the skills and knowledge and not just to pass through the system.
The Chair Department of Networks Dr. Swaib Kyanda advised students to be responsible and have self-drive saying, nobody at the university will follow up on them to do the usual like waking up and attending lectures.
“Be mature. You need to abide by the deadlines and follow instructions because they are critical for you to get through the system. You will select class representatives through whom all class challenges will be aired but our doors are also open.” He said.
The Chair Department of Information Systems Dr. Peter Nabende pledged to provide the necessary resources to enable students to get started. Dr. Nabende implored students to get the curriculum for the programs.
“The curriculum is a very important document that makes your journey at Makerere smoother because it spells out what is needed to be done to satisfy your degree requirement”. Said Dr,. Nabende.
The coordinator Online /ODEL learning Dr Agaba Joab informed freshers that the university adopted the blended learning using online means where all content is to be deposited on MUELE platform and therefore should get used to the platform.
Agaba warned students to desist from Sexual harassment describing it as a vice in all higher education institutions that every student should not be taken for naivety.
He urged students to know their rights and avoid bad behaviour and dress code that make them vulnerable adding that the university has a policy on sexual harassment that is accessible online.
“If you are disturbed in any way, try to gather evidence and come. Sexual Harassment is something the Vice Chancellor gave Zero-Tolerance. But where there is consent, don’t disturb us.
I want also to warn you against indecent dressing termed as “flashing” where girls target to confuse lecturers. Learn to dress decently. You cannot advertise yourself and when buyers come, you complain”, Dr. Agaba warned.
The students were also furnished with information and advice by administrators on issues of admission, fees payment, registration, the University academic calendar and change of program. They were also advised on matters of personal security and guarding against examination malpractices.
Report Compiled by,
Principal Communication Officer CoCIS