Lira University completes a multi-Billion shillings’ Storage Building
By Patrick Opio
Senior Communications Officer
The Resident City Commissioner(RCC), Lawrence Egole, has urged people in Lango sub-region to take advantage of Lira University and educate their children cheaply.
Engole noted that the Government of Uganda has established public universities in most sub regions including Lira University to easy access to university education. He was speaking as the Chief Guest at a multi-billion shillings Education block handover ceremony on Tuesday (5th April 2022).
The RCC observed that some parents and guardians from Lango still take their children to universities outside this region while forgetting that Lira University is a government institution with well qualified and experienced academic staff.
“We choose to take our children to Kampala schools and fail to support our own,” Engole wondered, adding that most children who study in Kampala have bad habits, a nuisance and cause problems in our local communities.
Egole revealed that whereas Buganda parents are struggling to promote their cultural educational institutions like Muteesa1 Royal University, Lango are taking their children to study in Kampala schools at the expense of their own in the sub-region. He termed this as jealousy being practised to the detriment of development of Lango.
The RCC gave example of some parents selling farm produce and other household property to pay hefty fees in Kampala schools, leaving Lango schools that charge moderate dues. “Such parents lack vision, think teachers from Kampala are from Heaven yet some of our children from Lango are the ones teaching there. The families end up being poor because they fail to plan well for education of their children,” Engole said.
The RCC encouraged political, religious and cultural leaders to play their role of guiding the population on education opportunities in the region and so that they stop wasting resources in schools elsewhere across the country.
Engole praised Lira University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jasper Ogwal Okeng and his team for their plan to construct a shs7.1 billion 3-floor building earmarked for several offices, laboratories and lecture rooms. “We have a powerful and strong team running this University, the reason for its steadfast growth,” he adds.
The RCC revealed that the President is concerned about the development and progress of Lira University and plans to pave all roads within the institution.
The University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jasper Ogwal Okeng lauded the Lango Paramount Chief, His Highness Wonyaci, Mzee Yosam Odur for providing the University lands on behalf Lango. “The cultural and local leaders helped us to get the 621 acres of land where the University Main campus is located, “Prof. Ogwal Okeng explains.
Ogwal Okeng revealed that they used students’ fees and Government funds to put up the Education Block. “Our staff sacrificed allowances in preference for completion of this magnificent building,” he said.
Prof. Ogwal Okeng noted that the construction started in 2018 with about sh3.6 Billion in the first phase and finally shs3.5 Billion in the second and the last phase of finishes. He added that there are several private hostels around the university to accommodate both international and local students.
He noted that the university that started as a Constituent College of Gulu University now boasts of 6 faculties and 21 academic programmes, with 1,300 students. He added that the University Management Team had regular site meetings to assess the works progress of the building.
Prof. Ogwal Okeng revealed that most students from Lango are missing access to government Loan Schemes because they relax and hesitate to apply for admissions into the university in time. “Some students first try elsewhere like Makerere University for admission then resort to us after missing the opportunity there hence late to get the government loan scheme when we get them here because deadlines will have paased,” he said.
The Acting University Secretary, Atim Tom noted that the University Team have every reason to celebrate the milestone in the infrastructure development.
Atim Tom, who is the Accounting Officer of the University praised the Contractor, Bygon Enterprises Ltd for the job well done, a demonstration of home content, local contractor.
He added that the university requires much funding from the Central government and other external sources to help put up buildings to create adequate space to facilitate teaching/learning processes.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Lira City, Sam Atul promised to attach Barapwo Health Centre 3 to Lira University to boost health care students training. He encouraged Local Governments in Lango subregion allocate funds for sponsoring poor and bright students pursuing medicine degrees.
Atul also promised to join hands with all leaders and stakeholders from the sub-region in revamping the poor education performance in the area. “We shall mobilise all stakeholders from Lango for a big meeting, discuss and chat the way forward if our schools are to comparably compete with other schools elsewhere in the country,” he said.
DK Odongo, the Chairperson of Alebtong District noted that the only big asset Lango has currently is education of their children, not lands as most people believe. “Our population is increasing day and night but land is stagnant, so land is not there, but there are opportunities for educating our children so that they can earn a living in future,” Odongo, also chairperson of District Chairpersons Association in Lango said.
Among those who attended the ceremony were University Council members; Dr Rick Akeny and Bosco Ogwang Edola, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Okaka Opio Dokotum and members of Top Management Committee of the university.