The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) has sent out 2,800 students for internship in various organizations and institutions. At a Field Attachment workshop chaired by the Deputy Principal, Prof. Abasi Kiyimba, on Wednesday, 11th June, 2014, Dr Christine Mpyangu informed participants that the students had been well prepared by the respective Schools and equipped with the required tools. Dr Mpyangu is the Field Attachment Coordinator, CHUSS. She appreciated the role played by School and Department Coordinators in ensuring the smooth running of the exercise.
Agencies hosting the students include the Uganda Red Cross Society, Butabika Hospital, TASO, 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, New Vision, Malaria Consortium and the Electoral Commission Headquarters.
The Deputy Principal appreciated the coordinators and supervisors for their effort in ensuring the field attachment exercise is successful regardless of the challenges they encounter. He said the exercise is very important for students because it equips them with skills relevant for the job market. He, however, expressed concern over the limited budget for the exercise, noting that sometimes students go out with limited resources. He cautioned staff against being harsh on students but rather to guide them through the exercise.
The Principal, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, informed participants that the different stages of the Field Attachment exercise require compulsory involvement of all academic staff. He noted that staff should take pride in being part of a process that prepares the students they teach for the world of work. He urged Schools and Departments to expedite the process of signing MoUs with host institutions. This, he said, on the one hand would ease the placement of students and subsequently minimise the chances of middlemen taking advantage of them, and, on the other hand, present opportunities to members of staff to provide contracted technical assistance to the organisations.
The Dean School of Psychology, Prof. Peter Baguma, highlighted the relevance of on-spot supervision. Dr. Paddy Musana, Head Department of Religion and Peace Studies, urged Heads of Department to always perform the oversight function for the success of the exercise. He emphasized that Heads need to ensure thorough control of the process even after delegating coordinators. Dr. Hellen Nkabala Nambalilwa, together with some of the School and Departmental Coordinators took participants through the supervision tools and advised on field budget-related realities.
Commenting on academic supervision, Dr Lajul Wilfred, Head Department of Philosophy, advised that students should be guided to carry out internship in areas relevant to their discipline. He emphasised the importance of being geographically aware of the places where students are placed to avoid inconvenience in the case of hard to reach areas.
A representative from Uganda Red Cross Society on a positive note said that they experience less trouble with students from Makerere University unlike those from other institutions. He noted that some institutions neither orient their students for the exercise nor equip them with the required tools. He appealed for short courses for host supervisors to be able to match the expectations of the University but also as a motivation to the supervisors.