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Knowledge without character useless – John Senyonyi

Uganda Christian University vice chancellor Dr John Senyonyi has blamed the increase in corruption and decline in the country’s moral fabric on failure of universities to instill these values in their graduates.

Dr Senyonyi, who was officially opening the University's pre-campus summer camp last week, said knowledge acquisition alone is not enough to make a complete graduate. The camp hosted hundreds of senior six graduates in a two-day workshop, during their pre-university vacation.

He challenged other universities to strive to sharpen the morals of the students they graduate.

“You don’t need to look far to get examples of educated people who are crippling the country. It is not the illiterate stealing money in government, drugs in hospitals, sexually using young girls promising them jobs; it is the educated using their so-called knowledge,” he said.

Discussing the relevance of university education, Senyonyi noted that education should be a matter of totality; building one’s academic journey and moral fabric.

“That is why UCU’s curricula have additional courses that focused on enhancing this other side of our graduates, in turn making a complete education for a complete person and I have been urging fellow VCs to take this path,” he added.

Senyonyi also rapped the poor reading culture of Ugandans that he said is the reason Ugandan graduates are not critical thinkers and incapable of solving the problems their societies and country are facing.

University education should make one a thinker who will add value to society by creating new solutions to problems. Innovation itself is a product of thinking which comes from reading.

He encouraged the students to read wider, pursue careers of their passion as this will give them a competitive edge in the job market.  The three-day summer camp was organised for the second time under the theme higher education: a choice to make.

According to Michael Mubangizi, the university's marketing and communications manager, the camp was intended to prepare students for university life, equip them with career guidance knowledge as they apply for their respective courses and to give them a feel of what a university is like.

Some of the topics discussed included abstinence, sexuality, dealing with campus freedom, drug and substance abuse, discovering and growing talent and peer pressure.

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