Makerere University Graduates First Cohort of Youth Development Work Programme

The first cohort of students under the Bachelor of Youth Development Work Program has graduated from Makerere university. The graduates recieved their degrees on day 2 of the weeklong 73rd graduation ceremonies that kicked off Monday comprising graduates from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and the College of Education and External Studies (CEES).

The four-year program, which was inaugurated in 2017, attracted 20 students. However, only four students namely Bumaali Muyinda, Ivan Musoba, Mary Nakitende, and David Alireki were able to earn their degrees on time. The Programme is an upgrade of the Commonwealth Youth in Development Diploma Programme (CYP), which equips students with skills to empower youth.

Speaking to URN, Prof. Paul Muyinda, Director Institute of Open Distance and E-learning who introduced the program at Makerere university said that in 2011, all commonwealth countries were urged to introduce courses that address the different challenges that affect the youth in their respective countries.   

This was first held at the diploma level before a bachelor’s degree was introduced in 2017. Although 20 students enrolled in the program, Prof. Muyinda explains that many of them are already employed by various non-governmental organizations within and outside the country, which limits their ability to concentrate on the program and has resulted in a small number of graduates making steady progress.

Unlike other courses that require students to go to classes almost every day, the Bachelor of Youth Development Work program is delivered using a combination of limited face-to-face and home study sessions supported by specially designed online and offline study materials and activities.

Muyinda explained that students only get two weeks on campus and spend the biggest part of the semester doing research on different topics, either generated by their supervisors or the students themselves. He explains that the purpose of this module is to equip the students with the skills to identify problems and generate practical solutions.

Mary Nakitende, one of the graduands told URN that one of the challenges she encountered during her research is the lack of confidence among the youth, which she believes is a major setback towards their development both socially and economically.

“Young people are not confident enough, our course is 80% about phycology so we have been learning about their minds, and that is one of the things we are going to tackle,” she said.  

David Alireki, another graduand told URN that most of the course units they have covered are targeting entrepreneurship opportunities, which directly counters the problem of unemployment in the country.

At the end of the one-week-long graduation, 13,221 people are expected to graduate. These comprise 6809 (52%) females and 6412 (48%) males. 102 of these are expected to receive PhDs and 1,378 will receive Master’s degrees while 108 are Postgraduate diplomas, and 35 are undergraduate diplomas.

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