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Makerere’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Team visit African Rural University

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Makerere’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Team visit African Rural University


On Monday 11th December 2023, a delegation from Makerere University visited African Rural University to   acquaint  itself with ARU educational model and establish possible   areas of collaboration between the two institutions

The visiting delegation of Makerere University  consisted of  Associate Professor Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere, Dr.Patrick  Byakagaba and Mr Anthony Tuyagaineyo all from the Department of Environment, Makerere University.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe in a special way welcomed the visitors to ARU an all women University and briefed them about the history of ARU tracing back from 1987 as an idea of transformation.

He stated that ARU was founded by Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme (URDT) with the vision of equipping women with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to be effective change agents within the African context and cause systems change

ARU Team led by Dr.Mwalimu and Makerere University team in the Value Based Meeting at ARU Board Room

In terms of uniqueness. Mwalimu noted that ARU Education Model is a conduit for societal wide and systematic and structural change with a philosophical foundation that  calls for a fundamental shift in life from problem solving to a creative orientation.

Citing the ARU curriculum whose design the design is 60% theory and 40% practical, Dr Mwalimu noted that students live and work with communities during one month practicum and a one-year internship to cause systems change.

Dr. Mwalimu also highlighted ecological initiatives at ARU. This includes a diverse range of  activities including  apiculture, aquaculture, cereal cultivation, agroecological practices, restoration of indigenous seeds and food, preservation of endangered plants and animals, apiary management, water conservation, agro-forestry, and the promotion of agro-ecological practices.

Dr. Mwalimu further emphasized the significant contributions of Traditional Wisdom Specialists at ARU, particularly in the domains of seed management, food security, indigenous knowledge concerning herbal medicine, and sustainable agriculture.

In addition, he shed light on ARU’s distinctive approach to rural community development, employing methodologies such as Community Action Planning, Participatory Action Research, and Participatory Rural Appraisal.

Regarding collaboration, Dr. Mwalimu emphasized ARU’s readiness to establish a value-based partnership with Makerere University, stating that such collaboration would contribute to holistic development in teaching, learning, research and community engagement

In her remarks, Associate Professor Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, highlighted the purpose of the visit, focusing on the desire to learn more about ARU, understand ARU’s partners, and explore collaboration possibilities.

(Left -Right ) Associate Professor Justine Namaalwa, and Mr. Anthony Tuyagaineyo all from the Department of Environment, Makerere University and Josephine Nampewo the Executive Assistant of ARU Vice Chancellor at the Meeting

In a special acknowledgment, Professor Namaalwa lauded the impactful contributions of ARU, particularly in the realms of community engagement and its visionary approach. Furthermore, she disclosed that Makerere University is currently undergoing a transformation in its education model—shifting from a predominantly theoretical approach to a curriculum that places greater emphasis on practical-based learning. Thus, a partnership with ARU is viewed as a promising avenue for fostering collaboration and facilitating the exchange of educational methodologies between the two esteemed institutions.

In terms of collaboration with African Rural University (ARU), Professor Justine Namaalwa of Makerere University highlighted several key areas of interest and potential partnership including working together in a blended program around climate change and resilience and improving livelihoods.

Associate Professor Justine Namaalwa receiving ARU Education Model Booklet from ARU Vice Chancellor, Dr.Mwalimu Musheshe Ashoka Fellow

In his remarks, Dr. Patrick Byakagaba from the Department of Environment at Makerere University expressed his appreciation for the noteworthy accomplishments of African Rural University. He commended ARU for its outstanding work, emphasizing its distinction among other institutions in generating tangible results within communities.

This year alone, ARU Graduates known as Epicentre managers have skilled over 17,000 Youth under the Young Africa Works Program implemented by URDT and Master Card Foundation

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