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DIRECTOR GENERAL’S ADDRESS AT UMI 19TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

The Chief Guest, Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanya, the Speaker of Parliament
The Hon. Minister for State for Higher Education and Sports
The Chancellor of Uganda Management Institute
Permanent Secretaries
Honorable Members of Parliament
The Head of Public Service
Chairperson and Members of UMI Governing Council
Distinguished Guests in your respective capacities
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
I bring you warm greetings from Management and Staff of Uganda Management Institute at this 19th Graduation Ceremony. As I start I would like to most heartily congratulate our Chief Guest, the Right Hon. Speaker upon ascending to the 3rd most prime office in Uganda. This, we are sure, comes with a lot of responsibility to the Country. Your guidance as Speaker in various matters is without a doubt etched in your experience and work at the August house where you have served as member and most recently as a Deputy Speaker. UMI looks forward to a continued mutual relationship with Parliament of Uganda.
 
Mr. Chancellor, Hon. Speaker, Chairman Governing Council, I would like to congratulate our graduands physically here today and those following these proceedings on our virtual platforms. Today’s graduation speaks volumes of your commitment and determination.
 
During these most challenging times, these graduands did not drop their shoulders and cry about a world hit by a most vicious pandemic, they soldiered on albeit the challenges. We toast to celebrating, endurance, determination, and capacity to navigate virtual learning.
 
Rt. Hon. Speaker may I as well welcome Chief Justice Emeritus Bart M Katureebe the Chancellor of UMI to his 1st convocation as Chancellor. UMI is proud to ride the crest of your character and incredible personality. We look forward to your incisive counsel as an Institute.
 
Mr. Chancellor, the Institute and Country are indebted to the leadership and guidance of His Excellency the President especially during these covid-19 pandemic times, we are proud that we congregate yet again and business though slow, is progressively continuing. As an Institute we would like to thank government for the continued provisions. Because of government support, we continued paying staff wages, facilitate teaching and learning and carrying out our other core functions of the Institute including Research and Consultancies. Rt. Hon Speaker please accept to also deliver our appreciation to His Excellency the President for accepting to assist the Institute in its efforts to expand the Infrastructure.  We were informed of His Excellency’s instructions to the Minister of Education and Sports to present a cabinet paper to cabinet to consider allocating UGX 65billion (Shillings sixty-five billion) to UMI for the infrastructure development.
 
To the graduands and the participants, I would like to implore you to continue pursuing your dreams no matter the circumstances. UMI is here to facilitate skills improvement, career growth, research and knowledge development. We will be your most handy asset at every turn.
 
As a research led Institute and through our regular policy dialogues, the Institute develops discerning and well research policy briefs that we urge Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, NGOs, the private sector and Civil society to uptake to inform their decisions, actions and improvements.
 
Mr. Chancellor Sir, that we are here today speaks of the Institute’s resilience and growth in the Open, Distance and E-learning (ODEL) system. The graduands here were hurled off the regular class daises and were required to attend classes on the open distance virtual learning platform. COVID 19 pandemic has put industry and expressly the education institutions in extremely unsafe circumstances. UMI has overtime built enviable capacity to conduct over 60 concurrent virtual sessions that cover trainings, workshops, vivas, meetings and open dialogues. This is capacity that has been carefully structured and staff vociferously trained to deliver online almost as engaging as the face to face sessions. We would like to thank the continuous engagement and support granted to us on this journey by National Council for Higher Education and specifically the Executive Director Prof. Mary Okwakol.
 
May I say Rt. Hon. Speaker and the Hon. Minister of Education, the education sector is the major facet of the Ugandan economy and we seek that a distinctive focus be put on the sector. When schools are running, the dependent aspects of the economy run as well. It is imperative as schools recommence, the whole sector is engaged in a review of the sector needs. I ask of our mother ministry to go back to the benchmarks of the Education White Paper (Ssenteza Kajubi 1989) and do a total revamp of the sector. As an Institute we commit to look at the national manpower skills gap and with partners in the sector and come up with appropriate short and long courses. Rt. Hon. Speaker, I request parliament to deliberately look at the Education sector in this country as a major forex earner from the region. Uganda, if rightly positioned, will supply quality education to South Sudan, Kenya, DR Congo and Tanzania. All that we need is to be looked upon as a priority area. We have most recently developed a Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomacy and International Relations Management for diplomats and international workers, Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management for School Administrators and Governors, Diploma in Journalism and Communication Management for journalists and spokespersons of agencies, Diploma in Public Administration and Community Development tailored to the Parish Development Model frontline leaders and managers.
 
Rt. Hon Speaker, the great author Graham Greene says,
"Having a low opinion of yourself is not 'modesty.' It's self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not 'egotism.' It's a necessary precondition to happiness and success." And here I use the alibi to say, UMI, currently is the proud holder of the National record of Academic Staff to PhD ratio. 75% of our teaching staff are PhD holders and a sizeable number of the 25% left are in latter stages of completing their PhDs indeed a number of our none teaching staff as well are PhD holders and this enhances our research led mission and capacity.
 
Mr. Chancellor as mentioned earlier, the Institute is set to embark on this 2nd phase of the Estates Master Plan. The core purpose of this Phase is to create state of the art training and research spaces, and self-sustenance. We have the architectural and artistic impression of an environmentally friendly and 15 (fifteen) storey structure.  It will have the biggest convention Centre in Eastern Africa. The Institute’s plea to you Mr. Chancellor and the Chief Guest is that when we knock at your door be the champion of this project.
 
Mr. Chancellor, at your installation you challenged the Institute on her relevance in the fourth industrial revolution, I would like to pledge that our teams led by the Institute Research and Innovation Centre are already burning midnight candles and have bare patches on their heads as they scratch away at the impact of COVID 19 on our society to come up with policy advice in the direction of economic regeneration.
 
Hon. Speaker, as the Ministry of Education and Sports embarks on reconceiving teacher education in Uganda to address the core industry and labor needs of the National Development Plan III (NDP III), and the fourth industrial revolution, UMI has eased the planning burden in the management area by rolling out a popular much tailored Post Graduate Diploma in Education Management. Hon. Minister of Higher Education, UMI will be your partner in the sector improvement and will ease your operations.
 
UMI would like to acknowledge our valued partnerships with various institutions, both private and public sector and I will specifically mention the Uganda Prisons Service, Uganda Police Force, the Uganda Peoples Defence Force through the Senior Staff and Command College, Ministry of Agriculture through NARO, GIZ, URBRA, UFZA (Uganda Free Zones Authority), PAU (Petroleum Authority of Uganda) and Ministry of Education and Sports under the United Nations Development Program GBV.
Rt. Hon. Speaker the Institute has rolled out an Anti-Corruption Study Centre, this is aimed at studying the behavioral tendencies that have plunged agencies, and as well as research the social and economic impact of corruption on the NDP. The Centre is in advanced stages of a partnership with the Inspectorate of Government and we are as well setting out to reach out to the Auditor General and other accountability sector institutions. Rt. Hon. Speaker both the IGG and the Auditor General report to you as the legislature, we will therefore most certainly reach out to the accountability committees of parliament to see how to work at curtailing corruption rather than profiling it.
 
Mr. Chancellor today we present to you 2,811 graduands that are truly the COVID pandemic heroes. The graduands are the products of UMI Kampala and our Branches in Gulu and Mbale Mbarara.  Mr. Chancellor we present 2,373 Post Graduate Diplomas, 434 Masters’ Degrees and very proudly 4 PhDs. These graduands include the first batch to graduate from the internationally accredited Masters in Public Administration.
 
Mr. Chancellor and Rt. Hon Speaker may I borrow an old Oromo wisdom saying, it goes, ‘An overly modest man goes hungry.” and here say, Uganda Management Institute affirms quality in her programs and to this, we are the Only ISO certified Institution of higher learning in this Country.
  
Graduands
I wish to congratulate all of the graduands upon this major achievement and wish them well in their careers as they apply their newly acquired skills, knowledge and competencies.
 
This major achievement which necessitated you to sacrifice your valuable time to do the various activities and the knowledge you have gained at UMI will not only benefit you as individuals but your organizations, country and humanity. The successes in development of this country now lie in your hands.  Remember UMI Alumni are never in second places.  They always excel and struggle to be in the driver’s seat all the time and remain in them.  Go out and demonstrate positively that you have been at UMI. From today you are alumni of UMI and we expect you to contribute to the development of this Institute. Go out and be ambassador of this Institute.
 
To those who are graduating with Diplomas with second lower class and above will be given provisional admissions to the Masters in Management Studies.  You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
 
Allow me to thank you Mr. Chancellor, Chairperson and Members of the Governing Council, Senators, my fellow members of staff for the tireless efforts you have exerted to make sure that the Institute keeps running.  Your spirit of team work cannot go unrecognized.
 
In conclusion, Mr. Chancellor allow me to pledge to our Chief Guest our continued support, determination and readiness to support the government in the effort its taking to build this country. Our efforts in contributing to peace and security, good governance, leadership and democracy, enhancing quality education, increasing access to medium and long term development, developing public and private sector Institutions, developing human capital, supporting comprehensive planning and management of urban and rural development for social and economic development, helping the youth incubate business ideas and translating them into businesses and making Uganda a center of excellence in capacity support and building not only in Uganda but the World over, is our package of support to His Excellency the President of Uganda.
Plot 44-52, Jinja Road, P.O Box 20131 Kampala, Uganda. Telephone: +256-312 721 700, +256-312 721 200. Emailadmin@umi.ac.ug