Forum for African Women Educationalists - Uganda Chapter

"21 Years of Enhancing Girls' and Women's Education for Development" FAWE Uganda 1997-2018

FAWE UGANDA AWARDS HIGHER EDUCATION BURSARIES TO 102 STUDENTS

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda Chapter in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists Regional Secretariat (FAWE RS) and the Mastercard Foundation have today 6th August, 2018 awarded 102 young women and men from the disadvantaged regions of Uganda with bursaries to access and transition through higher education and secure employment in sectors that contribute to the development of their communities and country.

The 2nd cohort of 102 (62 female and 40 male) successful program participants represent all the 13 Program districts of; Mayuge 8, Buliisa 6, Bundibugyo 7, Kanungu 18, Ntoroko 7, Adjumani 7, Amudat 2, Amuru 5, Kaabong 6, Pader 11, Bukwo 8, Buyende 9 and Katakwii district 8.

The Chief Guest, Prof. George Lada Openjuru, the Vice Chancellor of Gulu University during the award Ceremony said “I congratulate all of you for the good performance and qualifying for this scholarship. However, this doesn’t guarantee you success at University, you have to work hard and ensure you successfully complete your education cycle because poor grades or failure could lead to discontinuation.” He called upon, the awardees to remember where they come from, situations they left home, the people who look up to them and capitalize on that as a motivation to work hard and transform their communities. He committed to offer total support to them and ensure they settle in, pursue their education and excel.

Ms. Susan Opok Tumusiime, the Executive Director of FAWE Uganda said during the awards that, “The Higher Education Access Program is a unique initiative aimed at giving a platform for all academically talented students from economically disadvantaged communities an opportunity to study, realize their dreams and exploit their potential through increasing access to quality education in higher Institutions of learning.”

She added that, “I call upon all the students who have been awarded in the 2018 – 2019 academic year to exercise self discipline while at school, work very hard and make the best use of this life time opportunity to realize and maximize both their education and career dreams and above all contribute to the development of their communities and country at large.”

In the current financial year 2018/2019 the 2nd cohort of 102 students have been successfully enrolled to the 5 partner higher institutions of learning including; Busitema University 27, Gulu University 38, Mbarara University of Science and Technology 21, Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery 12 and Medical Laboratory Training School 4. The students are pursuing different science and medical related courses; Bachelor of Science (BSC) Medicine and Surgery, BSC Water Resources Engineering, BSC Agric Mechanization and Irrigation Engineering, BSC Agriculture; Diploma in Laboratory Technology and Nursing.

Chemutai  Sherine, one of the students awarded a bachelor’s degree of Science in Agriculture at Gulu University and from  Bukwo district appreciated the bursary, “I thank God and FAWE Uganda for this opportunity, without it I wouldn’t be here today, I now see my dreams coming true.  I come from a family of 12 children and it has not been easy for my parents. I count myself lucky, because it was impossible for my parents to educate all of us. I have struggled throughout my education, and after secondary, I knew that was the end of me. This bursary is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I commit to work hard and not to disappoint FAWE.”

For the last two weeks starting July 23 – August 6, 2017 awardees having been undergoing an  Extended Orientation Program (EOP) to support students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to settle in, compete favorably and successfully complete their studies at their various institutions of learning. Some of the topics covered in the EOP include; financial literacy, life skills, career mapping, conflict resolution, higher education environment and, gender roles and responsibilities. Psychosocial and counseling support will also be provided to students during their studies to build self-esteem, academic discipline and overcome challenges of life including; sexual- and gender- based harassment and violence.

To ensure transparency and accountability, the Regional Bursary Technical Committees (RBTCs) were formed and are charged with the responsibility of selecting, interviewing and enrolling beneficiary students. To guarantee higher completion rates; Bursary Coordination Committees were established in each of the five partner institutions, the students also have focal point persons where they report challenges they are facing and proper guidance is given to them. The award Ceremony took place at Gulu University.

THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACCESS PROGRAM

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda Chapter in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists Regional Secretariat (FAWE RS) and the Mastercard Foundation are implementing the Higher Education Access Program. The program focuses on providing bursaries to a total of 300 academically able students from economically disadvantaged regions and districts of Uganda; the Northern Region  (Adjumani, Amudat, Amuru, Kaabong and Pader); Eastern (Bukwo, Buyende, Katakwi and Mayuge) and Western (Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Kanungu and Ntoroko);  to access and complete higher education, design and implement a (pilot) pre-entry bridging program to provide second chance opportunities for promising students to transition into university degree programs and 

DOCUMENTING CHANGE STORIES AND SUPPORT SUPERVISION FOR FAWE UGANDA – MASTERCARD FOUNDATION PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

On March 5th – 11th, 2018 FAWE Uganda conducted joint support supervision and monitoring visit to the partner institutions of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu and Busitema Universities. The exercise focused on documenting change stories and support supervision for the Higher Education Access Programme participants with key focus on assessing progress – how students are copying with studies, challenges they are facing and how they can be addressed, following-up internship and industrial training program - placement of students in districts of origin. It featured following-up different program approaches that are impacting lives of students including application of the Extended Orientation Program (EOP), how they are giving back to communities and overall academic progression.

In the process courtesy calls were paid to all Academic Registrars and focal point persons of the Institutions to understand new developments, assessing the student wellbeing, discipline and academic performance. Similar briefing meetings were held with students where they were able to share personal experiences including challenges they were facing and how they can be addressed.

One on one meetings were held with the students especially those who had success stories or change stories or any other pertinent issues to share. Students shared on the different program approaches such as the EOP that are impacting their lives including topics of financial literacy, communication skills, life skills, discipline and confidence building among others. They also shared on the different community give back interventions they are undertaking including awareness on hygiene and sanitation such as cleaning wells or water points in villages, awareness on HIV and AIDS in communities and schools, Education Programmes - teaching in schools around them, volunteering in Health Centers, Agricultural empowerment with key focus on improved farming methods, sensitizing and engaging communities in income generating activities.

A total of 69 students were reached during the monitoring visits. 13 (10 male and 3 female) Mbarara University of Science and Technology, 24 (12 male and 12 female) Gulu University and Busitema University 32 - Arapai Campus 7, Mbale Campus 3 (1 male and 3 female), Nagongera Campus 13 (5 male and 8 female) and Busitema Main Campus 9 (5 male and 4 female).

FAWE UGANDA LAUNCHES THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACCESS PROGRAM TO ENABLE 300 YOUNG WOMEN AND MEN FROM DISADVANTAGED REGIONS OF UGANDA ACCESS QUALITY HIGHER EDUCATION

1st Cohort of beneficiairies pose for a group photo with the Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation (in a black suit) and FAWE Uganda Members after the launch of the Higher Education Access Program

Forum for African Women’s Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWE Uganda) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the Forum for African Women’s Educationalists Regional Secretariat (FAWE RS) launched the Higher Education Access Program (HEAP) in Uganda on 20th October, 2017. This eight-year Program seeks to enable 300 young women and men from disadvantaged regions of Uganda access to education and leadership development, including transition to higher education or to secure employment in sectors that contribute to the development of their communities and the country.

The Higher Education Access Program is focused on providing bursaries to 300 academically gifted students from economically disadvantaged regions and districts of Uganda; the Northern region including; Adjumani, Amudat, Amuru, Kaabong and Pader; Eastern regions including Bukwo, Buyende, Katakwi and Mayuge; and, the Western region, including Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Kanungu and Ntoroko.

In his speech, the Guest of Honor at the launch, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the scholarships and work hard. On behalf of his Ministry and the Government of Uganda, he expressed gratitude to FAWE & MasterCard for their timely intervention towards helping young people access education. He said that the government is committed to working with such organizations to improve the quality of education in Uganda. He condemned the irresponsible sexual behaviors students engage in that lead to increase in school dropouts and urged the students to focus on their studies. The Minister then officially launched the programme and wished the first cohort of students best of luck.

Ms. Christine Semambo Sempebwa, the Executive Director of FAWE Uganda said, “The Higher Education Access Program is a unique initiative aimed at giving a platform for all academically talented yet economically disadvantaged students an opportunity to study, realize their dreams and exploit their potential through increasing access to quality education in higher Institutions of learning.” She emphasized that, “The beneficiaries who have been enrolled should count themselves lucky, study very hard and get the best out of this opportunity while bearing in mind that although many students applied for the scholarship, a majority were not taken due to the limited number of slots.” This program offers 100% bursaries to learners and all you need to do is to take yourself to school and study which is a rear occurrence.”

She added that, “To guarantee success, the beneficiaries need to take the opportunity to learn from their peers on how to live responsibly, exercise self control and discipline, learn to prioritize and focus on their studies. As FAWE Uganda and other partners we commit to do whatever it takes to facilitate you to achieve all your planned goals.”

“The Mastercard Foundation supports this Program to provide access to quality higher education as well as a bridging program to provide a second chance at University education for promising students whose academic talent exceeds their financial resources into university degree programs. It will also provide academic and psycho-social support, and facilitate pathways for students to internships, industrial practice and employment”, said Peter Materu, Mastercard Foundation Director Education & Learning and Youth Livelihoods.

This program offers 100% bursaries to learners and targets 300 students between the ages of 18 to 25 over eight-years. 60% will undertake degree courses while 40% will be in diploma courses. The program is designed with focus on sciences, covering courses in agriculture, medical and health, whereas education related courses will focus on sciences and language. The Program is being implemented in partnership with 5 higher education institutions; Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University and Busitema University, Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Medical Laboratory Training School. Upon graduation, the students are encouraged to return to their communities to work and improve the lives of others by filling a critical human resources gap and contribute to economic development.

The program utilizes creative and innovative approaches like the Extended Orientation Program (EOP) to support disadvantaged students to settle in, compete favorably and successfully complete their studies. The pre-entry Bridging Program (BP) has been designed to give second chance opportunities to promising students whose pre-entry qualifications fall slightly below the cut-off points and whose academic potential is curtailed by the physical, academic and social inadequacies of their secondary schools. It will support them transition into undergraduate degree programs.

 To ensure transparency and accountability, Regional Bursary Technical Committees (RBTCs) have been established and are charged with the responsibility of selecting, interviewing and enrolling beneficiary students. Similarly, Bursary Coordination Committees have been established in each of the five partner institutions to guarantee requisite higher completion rates.

Present at the launch, at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala, were key stakeholders including; the beneficiary students, the line Ministries of Education and Sports, Science and Technology; Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Ministry of Health; Development partners, Civil Society Organizations and the media.

DISTRIBUTION OF BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO BENEFICIARIES

Beneficiaries at Busitema University (Arapai Campus) pose for a group photo after recieving their basic requirements

After undergoing a successful verification and selection process, 100 Higher Education students were awarded scholarships under the Higher Education Access Program, which is being implemented by FAWE Uganda in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.   Students will be attending various fields of science and Technology study at Gulu University, Busitema University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Beneficiaries were given basic needs and scholastic materials to use while at school.  These included: mattresses, suitcases to mention but a few.  Laptops were as well provided to all beneficiaries for purposes of facilitating academic research, expo- sure and online networking.

VERIFICATION OF BENEFICIARIES UNDER THE PROGRAM

               

Students who applied for bursaries under the Forum for African Women Educationalists/Mastercard Foundation Higher Education Access Program for 2017/2018 intake underwent a verification exercise.  The process took a period of one week after which, selection of beneficiaries was done.  We congratulate all students who were awarded scholarships and wish you the very best in your academic endeavors.

 

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