Graduate students for academic year 2023/2024 ushered into CoVAB
Incoming graduate students at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) have been urged to utilize the available resources and facilities and to commit time to their study. The timetables and schedules are ready for you and this calls for individual effort as you set on your academic journey.
During an orientation event held in the college Boardroom Friday 1st September 2023, the students were reminded that as graduate students, they were expected to work and prove their worth through Individual effort.
The Deputy Principal, Prof. James Okwee- Acai representing the Principal. COVAB
The Deputy Principal, Prof. James Okwee- Acai while welcoming the graduate students to CoVAB extended the appreciation of the college management to them for the trust in Makerere University because they could have gone elsewhere. He informed the new students of the University’s vision of becoming Research led and informed them that as graduate students, they were helping the realization of this vision ahead of time. ‘Research is not going to be done by us but by you the Masters and Ph.D. students, ‘he said. He observed the nation needs science leadership and grooming leadership starts with graduate training.
Prof. Acai observed that a number of science disciplines require leadership more especially graduates from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity. He said once the college products get out into the world of work, they interact with other disciplines citing the example of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the mother Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Resources and Fisheries (MAAIF) where the college products were almost absent in leadership positions, with only one veterinarian serving as commissioner Animal health.
A section of the students at the orientation
When we go to the districts we get contented with what we have, he noted and that the increased number of students admitted at the graduate level was testimony that they have woken up and are taking graduate training seriously and asked them to aspire and acquire the needed qualifications and the minimum requirements in order to compete for top positions out there.
While addressing them on the academic progression for master’s students, the Deputy Principal said that it is student led. ‘We are not going to be herding you, we are already colleagues like Vets at Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) and urged them to take on their student responsibility seriously in order to complete within the prescribed two years.
Further, he informed them that the graduate study cycle is broken down into course work and dissertation and that they were expected to be doing research in the second year. He advised them to plan ahead of time to ensure they complete within the given time by submitting progress reports and the intention to submit, three months before submission to allow adequate preparation for examination.
Prof. Okwee observed that Research is not worth the name not until it is published when he said that ‘Science which is not published is not science’. He urged the students to master the art of writing, attend the seminars in respective programs as some of the forums where they will practice and help them in preparing for the viva presentations.
Dean SBLS Dr. Claire M. Mugasa addressing students at the orientation
The Dean, School of Biosecurity, Biotechnology and Laboratory Sciences (SBLS) Dr. Claire M. Mugasa while congratulating the incoming students upon their admission amidst the competition urged them to use the same zeal to ensure that they complete the respective programs timely.
She cautioned them against withdrawing from the program without following the prescribed procedures and later on attempt to get back on the program, which may not be possible. ‘Some students withdraw without giving due notice, its abscondment’ she guided. The Dean encouraged the students to embark of the process of identifying their research topics as they start on their program. She said at this time, they can begin with concepts and identify potential supervisors or mentors for guidance in order to avoid working in haste.
Assoc. Prof. Jesca Nakavuma encouraged the students to persevere until the end
Assoc. Prof. Jesca Nakavuma one of the most senior members of staff and mentor urged the graduate students to persevere, invest time and resources in order for them to succeed on their respective programs. ‘You have been given a schedule, read widely, do not wait to reproduce the bullets in the notes shared in class’, she counselled and advised them not to plan for any withdrawals unless faced with a grave challenge.
The Head, Livestock and Industrial Resources Department Dr. Dorothy Nampanzira informed the students that at Master’s level, they were expected to be and act maturely and that they ought not to expect to be followed more especially during the second year of the program which she described as a lonely journey that needed a lot of personal motivation.
Dr. Nampanzira, Head LIR
Other words of encouragement were that the teaching staff were also human and asked the students to approach them in case of challenges. Students were guided through the requirements for ICT that involve enrollment onto the University system that would enable them access services like payment of tuition, online resources and others.
The College registrar who was represented by Ms. Hellen Mirembe, Registrar SBLS, asked them to begin the program with optimism that despite the challenges, they would complete and encouraged them to interact more with instructors as they explore new stuff. She shared some of the University rules and regulations that required them for instance to do the registrations, and to follow the given instructions. She said reminded them that the pass mark was at 60% and that the university does not offer special exams.
Story by Musinguzi Harriet.