LIRA, January 22, 2024 – The Chancellor of Lira University, Justice Dr Joseph Benjamin Odoki has appealed to government to increase the institution’s research and innovation budget to at least Shs 5 billion in the coming financial year 2024/ 2025.
Presiding over the graduation ceremony of 403 students at the University last Friday, Odoki said the current budget of Shs 500mln allocated to the institution for research and innovation is not enough given the many activities and projects that need to be implemented.
The students graduated with masters, and Bachelor’s degrees, as well as post-graduate diplomas in Business Administration, Public Administration and ,Management, Public Health, Science in Midwifery, Community Psychology and Psychotherapy among others.
Odoki said with the little resources, Lira University has been able to do commendable research, carried out innovations, and publish academic work, making some students to win national and international innovation awards.
He cited former students Doreen Naluga, the former student of Computer Science who won an international award, and Emmanuel Ikwara Asher of Public Health who got Shs 1.052bln in prize money from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Ikwara’s prize money went to cassava value addition, and pesticide production.
“My request is that government increases the university’s budget for research and innovation to Shs 5 billion,” he added.
The Assistant Commissioner [Public Universities] in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Timothy Ssejjoba advised graduates to impact societies they will work in since they have now acquired the necessary knowledge and tools.
The University`s Vice-chancellor, Prof. Jasper Ogwal Okeng expressed gratitude to President Yoweri Museveni for establishing the university’s teaching hospital, saying the institution is still expanding.
“Lira University is still a young university. It is still expanding and we don’t expect to remain at the present level, both in size and quality,” he said.
For expansion, Prof Okeng added that they have acquired 340 acres land in Amolatar district for the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture and Aquaculture.
Meanwhile, students who completed their studies, saying it was a result of hard work.
For instance, Oscar Akaki, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, expressed excitement, saying he was ready to serve his country, Uganda, having struggled to complete the three-year’s course.
Quinto Okello, who obtained a degree in Science in Midwifery, said his dream was to complete the course and be part of the struggle to reduce maternal deaths in the country. According to a 2021 report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the maternal mortality rate in women aged 15-49 is 368 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Prisca Agweng, who bagged degree certificate in Community Psychology and Psychotherapy urged fellow youth in Uganda not drop out of school, noting that education is the key to success, no matter the challenges that come along the way.
“Some people say that even if you study, it is not automatic that you will get a job, but I want people to know that you don’t go to school only to get a job but to learn and grow in mind,” she said.
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