Don’t turn universities into graveyard, students told

BY EMMANUEL OKOT

Students intending to join universities and those continuing have been advised to prioritise education and desist from turning institutions of higher learning into academic graveyards.

The advice was given by the Country Director of Compassion Uganda, Lenny Mugisha, during the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Pre-Campus Camp 2019 held at the main campus in Mukono in April.

Mugisha noted that the university can either be a vineyard or a graveyard and that the power to make a choice between the two is in the students’ hands. 

He also urged the students to moderate the way they use technologies, like phones and the Internet so that the gadgets don’t dictate their lives. 

“Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, didn’t allow his kids to use the iPad or any product he invented,” Mugisha said, observing that the Apple founder knew the implications of overusing them. 

The annual Pre-Campus Summer Camp 2019 ran from 25th to 28th under the theme, “New Technology and Character At  Crossroads.” 

The key speakers were Mugisha, the UCU Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, the outgoing UCU Chaplain, the Rev. Dr Rebecca Nyegenye, Saul Waigolo from the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Stephen Langa the director 

Family Life Network and Dr Charles Ocici, the MD Enterprise Uganda, among others.

The event covered topics such as understanding sexuality, relationships and ethical living, cultic movements, drug and substance abuse, career choices, communication and presentability skills. These lectures were held one after another together with other  activities like devotion, comedy, and talent nights. 

In his remarks, Dr Senyonyi warned students about forces of peer pressure at the university. “Don’t be taken up by peer pressure. What brings you to the university is to study, not to have a partner,” Senyonyi said.

He further noted that young people needed to know the truth. “Don’t believe in everything you are told. You need to be cautious of everything and watch out,” Senyonyi said.  

Meanwhile, Dr Nyegenye warned students to be wary of false prophets and churches who claim to be performing miracles. 

“These people are always smart and speak strange languages that are very uncommon, and they tell you that they are the only ones having faith, to lure you to their ungodly fellowships,” she said.

Dr. Keith Mugarura cautioned students to stop taking drugs such as the weed.

“Some of these drugs are sold here at campus by students and in bars in powdered form mixed in your drinks unknowingly so that you are sexually abused. So be careful,” Keith warned.

The fourth annual Pre- Campus Summer Camp 2019 was attended by 120 participants. The inaugural 2016 camp attracted around 150 students while in 2018 they were 337.

Frank Obonyo, the UCU Communications officer, attributed the reduction in the number of participants to the failure to bring in students under the scholarship’s schemes on board. 

“BRAC Uganda pulled out of the arrangement and they explained that their budget couldn’t afford to support sending student to the camp,” Obonyo said, adding that although having big numbers is good, what matters most was the impact of the message at  the camp. “Thank God that we were able to reach  at least 120 Ugandans this year,” Obonyo said.

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