AfriChild Centre on Friday 17th May 2019 passed out 30 lecturers from seven Ugandan universities, equipped with knowledge and skills to conduct child focused research studies.
The pass out ceremony was hosted at Golf Course Hotel under the theme; “Putting Ugandan Children at the heart of sustainable development – Where is the evidence?”.
The conference brought together over 150 researchers, key focal persons in the matters of children, representatives from the Ministry of Gender , Labour and Social development and practitioners to engage in strategies for strengthening child focused research, outline common challenges in the trade and explore approaches to over come these challenges.
Speaking at the conference, the acting executive Director of the AfriChild Centre, Timothy Okobo said that they recognised a gap in child focused research with no primary focus around the issues of children before starting out in 2013.
“In 2012, there was need to develop a centre of excellency for the African Child. Through a grant in 2013, AfriChild was born to fill the gap. We believe that planning for children is core when thinking about strategic development,” he said in part.
He said in January 2018, they partnered with seven Ugandan university to carry out a process based criteria in order to select 30 professionals that would later be trained in child based research.
The collaborating universities were: Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Uganda Christian University, Mukono, Uganda Martyrs University, Gulu University and Nsamizi Training Centre.
Makerere University conducted a study on children’s experience and perspective on parental and community involvement in their schooling, Kyambogo University researched about the voices of children on the role of parents in their schooling while Uganda Christian University conducted a study on evaluating cultural appropriateness of the integrated behavioural model on sanitation and hygiene outcomes among pupils in public primary schools in Mukono.
In his remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellors of the participating universities, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Academic affairs at Kyambogo University, Eron Lawrence thanked AfriChild Centre for giving them a platform to participate in research activities but also thanked the universities that took on the mantle to participate.
He called upon government to consider a competitive framework to support research activities.
“The government of Uganda should consider a competitive framework to support research and to enable us tackle issues affecting this country effectively,” he said.
Participating universities were awarded participatory certificates to launch their research reports.