By David Omoding
On 27th March 2021, FAWE Uganda held a graduation Ceremony for 60 students (26 Female, 34 Male) who completed the Higher Education Access Program (HEAP) at Busitema University in Tororo – Eastern Uganda.
The ceremony was meant to appreciate and congratulate learners who completed the one (1) year study under the Higher Education Access Certificate program to prepare them to transition into University degree programs. It helped popularize the HEAP Program in Uganda; and clarified fears and expectations about it. The awareness is focused on increasing the number of students taking-up the course in the seven (7) Partner Universities of Busitema, Gulu, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Lira, Muni and Kabale.
The 60 learners will transition to degree courses in, Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, Nursing, Agricultural Mechanization and Irrigation, Engineering, Education in Sciences and Languages; and Water Resources Management, and Animal Production and Management at Busitema University under the FAWE Mastercard Foundation scholarship. Prior to the graduation ceremony, a two day transition workshop was held and learners were oriented on career selection and success in a professional work environment, understanding institutional rules, regulations and reporting structures, life in college or Higher institutions of learning, mentorship and coordination at different campuses, discipline and building blocks of success with the objective of enabling them to settle down and concentrate on their studies in the next education journey.
After the ceremony, a radio talk show was held at Rock Mambo FM in Tororo district to popularize the Certificate program following completion of the first cohort of learners. Three (3) graduands and the Dean Faculty of Science and Education featured as Panelists. Learners shared their testimonies, experiences about the program and appreciated FAWE and Mastercard Foundation for supporting and enabling them realize their dreams. The talk show reached out to over 3 million people in Eastern Uganda.
The event was graced by several dignitaries including officials from Busitema University – The Dean Facility of Science and Agriculture, Quality Assurance; Academic Registrars from Gulu and Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Media, FAWE Uganda staff, mentors and roles models, and the learners.
The Higher Education Access Programme is aimed at enabling students, who have not attained sufficient grades at Senior Six (6) to enroll for a degree course after successfully undertaking a one certificate course. It serves as an alternative route to access University Education by A-level students who did not attain the two principal passes as the current direct requirement for admission.