Makerere University College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) successfully held its first internship exhibition. The two-day activity held on 19th-20th November in the Freedom Square was aimed at exposing students to potential Field Attachment hosts. Hundreds of students braved the rains to study the activities of the host institutions and to seek internship opportunities. Of all the host institutions that participated in the exhibition, Maries Stopes, TASO Uganda and Mildmay Uganda were the most popular with so many students flocking the organizations’ tents to seek guidance on various health related issues. The TASO Uganda tent received an overwhelming number of students seeking HIV testing and counseling services, a symbol of increasing responsibility amongst the youth.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Principal of CHUSS, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, described the exhibition and the Field Attachment exercise as important activities that expose students to the world of work. “The United Nations and NEPAD have echoed the need for Universities and higher education Institutions in Africa to implement curricula that produce a new generation of all-round graduates with blended entrepreneurial, vocational and intellectual competences to act as nuclei for change. The Field Attachment Programme provides students an opportunity to acquire these skills,” he explained.
He expressed gratitude to the host institutions for supporting the University in its endeavor to produce practically oriented graduates that meet the required job-related competences of their future employers. He specifically applauded Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) for taking on the biggest number of students. URCS annually hosts about 300 students from CHUSS. Other agencies that host CHUSS students include Butabika Hospital, the Local Government, Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda Prisons, Municipal Councils, Civil Aviation Authority, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Care International, Reproductive Health Uganda, Uganda Police, Uganda Revenue Authority, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Reach a Hand Uganda, Global Health and HIV/AIDS Initiative, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, the AIDS Information Centre, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Anti-Corruption Division, World Vision, Vision Group, Malaria Consortium and the Electoral Commission. Prof. Kirumira said the College Administration was working out modalities of formalizing the existing partnership with the institutions that take on students for the Field Attachment exercise. He said the College would sign MoUs with all host institutions.
The Principal appealed to host institutions to tap into the expertise of Makerere University academic staff instead of hiring expatriates from abroad. “Once engaged, you will not only put an extra shilling in their pockets but you will contribute to their retention at Makerere University and the quality of their classroom delivery,” he said.
He appreciated the School Field Attachment Coordinators for their selfless effort in ensuring that students secure internship placement in various organizations. He specifically thanked Dr. Christine Mbabazi Mpyangu for her commitment and exemplary leadership in the management of the Programme. Dr Mpyangu is the CHUSS Field Attachment Coordinator.
Prof. Kirumira cautioned students against misbehaving during the Field Attachment exercise.
In his brief on Field Attachment, the Deputy Principal, Prof Abasi Kiyimba, said the programme had generated good results. He said many students had secured jobs as a result of the programme.
The CHUSS Field Attachment Coordinator, Dr Christine Mbabazi Mpyangu, said the exhibition was aimed at strengthening the existing partnerships and formulating new ones. She said the cordial relationship established between the College and the different employers had simplified placement of students. She revealed that the CEO of Pilot International, one of the host institutions, had pledge to take on 300 students in the forthcoming Field Attachment exercise.
A representative of the host institutions, Mr, Joram Musinguzi from Uganda Red Cross Society, shared his experience as a trainer of interns. He noted that many students at University level are young and therefore need extra guidance and motivation if they are to benefit from Field Attachment.
During the exhibition, the guests and students were treated to various performances by the Department of Performing Arts and Film as well as Heritage Roots.
On a positive note, Uganda Red Cross Society in conjunction with Nakasero Blood Bank collected over 100 units of blood.
The two-day event was crowned with an award giving ceremony. Each host institution was presented a certificate of appreciation in recognition of their services in the mentorship of students.
Amongst the exhibitors were staff and students from the Department of Performing Arts and Film; Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Department of Philosophy; Department of Journalism and Communication, Department of Literature, Department of Political Science and Public administration, Department of Social Work and Social Administration; the School of Women and Gender Studies and the School Psychology.
Other organizations that participated in the exhibition are; Smart Telecom, the Bible Society of Uganda, Bank of Africa, Stanbic Bank, Mengo Youth Development Link, TEENS Uganda, Exquisite Solutions, Hands Against Poverty Uganda; UNICEF, Reach a Hand Uganda, Pilot International, CEPARD, Heritage Roots, Uganda Youth Development Link and Bridgehead 24.