Hundreds of freshers admitted to programs in the College of Computing and Information Sciences turned up for orientation at a function that was presided over by Principal Professor Tonny Oyana in the Big Lab 2 in Block B on 24th August 2023.

Three students won scholastic materials worth over UGX 100,000 in a quiz and orientation raffle – a college culture of welcoming first-years every intake.

Prof. Tonny Oyana hands over scholastic gifts to the winners of the orientation quiz.

Heads of academic units including Principals, Deans, and departmental chairs congratulated freshers upon successful admission and welcomed them to Makerere University. Day 2 was dedicated to orientation by university support units.

Prof. Oyana described the orientation as an exciting moment transitioning from primary, and secondary to university

In the current competitive world, Oyana told freshers that one degree is not enough.

Prof. Tonny Oyana advising students.

“University should be able to prepare you to stand on your own. Forget about finding a job. But can you now count and write your records properly and make sense of the world? Listen, the world is complex. Even your home is complex. The school must teach you to make sense of things and articulate them clearly”

The Principal informed students that they are in the university to acquire knowledge and skills to tame their environment and organize their communities.

He told freshers that the key thing to success nowadays is to create their own opportunities.

Some of the freshers follow proceedings during the orientation.

“To record success, the first one is the academic work. If you like to sleep and you cover your head with the two bed sheets turn off alarms and sleep again, you will sleep into your future. Organize yourself so that you know which classes you are supposed to do when and where”, Prof. Oyana warned.

The Principal stressed the need for students to balance their time for academics and social life and to identify additional university resources such as the library, places of worship, and counseling services to make their stay successful.

Principal-Prof. Tonny Oyana (L), Deputy Principal-Dr. Peter Nabende (R) and staff (background) during the orientation.

“The Second thing is social success. There is life outside academics. It is okay to go and dance a bit. The problem comes when done every Monday, Wednesday, Friday etc and you know all the clubs.  Balance social and academics and life will be very good for you. Go socialize, play soccer, and netball, and run If you are overwhelmed, take a walk, and talk with friends who like you. Give them a call, they will make you feel better”, He said.

Prof. Oyana highlighted key things to success including being focused on obtaining knowledge, working hard, endurance, and discipline.

“God designed you to succeed, to prosper.  In the Bible, if you are Christian, God designed you to thrive. So don’t believe that you are born stupid. So if you fail, get up and say I know I can do it.

Hard work is good and pain is also good. Build your endurance. Endurance according to the Bible, will give you wisdom.   I want you to do better. I want you to succeed but you must work hard”, Oyana advised.

The different heads of departments introduced freshers to programs offered in their units and guided them on different matters.

“Our role is to facilitate you and you go on your own. Have your objectives and know where you want to go and identify practical projects that you can start working on.

We are training you not only to be technicians but also to be theoretical. So, accept the balance”, Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha, Head Department of Computer Science.

Head IT Dr. Fiona Penlop speaking.

The head department of Information Technology Dr. Fiona Penlop cautioned freshers against examination malpractices and or forgery.

“You need to concentrate, read, and ensure you appear on the university graduation list and booklet. We have seen students fooling parents to come for graduation knowing they are not on the graduation list”, she warned.

Dr. Agnes Nakakawa addressing freshers.

Agnes Nakakawa, head Department of Information Systems congratulated students upon their admission to Makerere but said it was up to them to determine where to focus their attention.

Dr. Nakakawa warned freshers that they have limited time and as adults at Makerere, there is no stick, nor master on duty and metrons to chase them around. She also cautioned about misleading advice that a 50 % or pass is good enough.

“Respect the CGPA, it is a monster that can kill you. If you fail to get a first or second-class upper in the first year, nobody should lie to you. Your parents have toiled to get you here and your job is to get knowledge and skills”, Nakakawa warned.

Nakakawa advised every student to take his or her own lane and begin building a good CGPA, prioritizing their goals saying, the only way to attain positions they deserve is through coursework, tests, and examinations.

She also cautioned students to guard against pregnancies and unserious group mates always seek help and counseling services in case of challenges and, not  to harm themselves,

Speaking on behalf of the head department of Library and Information Sciences, Mwanje Senono urged students to focus in order to complete within the program time.

“We have seen students spend five years. But once you focus and attain a good CGPA, you will finish in time. Aim at first or second-class upper. A passing degree has no future. Avoid negotiating marks with lecturers, create groups, concentrate, and get off anything that rids you from focus”, Senono advised.

Mwanje Ssenono advising students.

Chair Department of Networks, Dr. Swaib Lwasa said unlike other programs, the Bachelor of Software Engineering takes four years. He advises freshers to work through class representatives as contact points in case of challenges.

Dr. Swaibu Lwasa addressing freshers.

“Not everyone around you is a student of Makerere, you may lose your property. The department has staff ready to support you in your academic journey. Year 2 and year three students of software engineering have social networks and they will be mentoring first years.”, He pledged.

The head of the Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), Ms. Barbra Nalubega told students that the future lies in Artificial intelligence. She highlighted some of the courses offered at the centre adding the centre offers practical skills.

Ms Barbara Nalubega speaking on short and practical courses offered.

“We train for the industry. We want you to have skills that will make you fit for the world. Excellence comes with paying attention to detail. We want to give you skills for achieving your goals. We offer hands-on experiences during recess term to complement theory” ” she said.