Grandfather among top YMCA graduates

Mr Ronald Kibiina, who got a first class certificate in Social Work and Social Administration, at YMCA graduation in Jinja on December 3, 2021. PHOTO/PHILIP WAFULA

What you need to know:

  • Prior to this milestone, Mr Kibiina last attended class at Kampala High School in 1993, where he sat his Senior Six examinations
  • He decided to return to school because he was being challenged for lacking academic qualifications.

A  52-year-old man was one of the best students at the 19th YMCA Jinja campus graduation ceremony at the weekend, beating his 21-year-old daughter, who is a mother of a six-month-old baby.
 Mr Ronald Kibiina, who got a first class certificate in Social Work and Social Administration , scored a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.8, while his daughter, Ms Eseza Nakigunga, got a second class certificate in tourism and hospitality management.

Prior to this milestone, Mr Kibiina last attended class at Kampala High School in 1993, where he sat his Senior Six examinations. 
“I sat for Senior Six final exams with [Lord Mayor Erias] Lukwago, and while he proceeded to Makerere University to study Law, I didn’t go to university because of poor grades. I decided to go into tourism until I returned to school in February 2018 for this certificate,” Mr Kibiina said.

He added: “I decided to return to school because I was being challenged on the basis of not having qualifications. So I spoke to my wife, she was okay with it and I decided to enrol.”
As one of the requirements to earn his certificate, Mr Kibiina undertook his internship at Budondo Sub-county headquarters.
He described studying with his daughter as challenging and good.
“While everyone was obsessed with Bobi Wine, Arsenal and Liverpool, I was reading; but also, I had to look for fees for myself, my daughter, other children and relatives. The studies were very demanding as I had to be in class between 8am and 12pm from Monday to Friday.

“That means I had to look for money to pay fees for myself, daughter, others and attend classes, but thank God, I got all the money for all,” he said.
Mr  Kibiina said he ventured into tourism after his A-Level.
“I went into tourism where I have been driving people to national parks. I also own a boat on which I take tourists for fishing and bird watching, among other expeditions,” he said.
During the ceremony, only graduands and officials accessed the institution premises, while parents and guardians followed proceedings from outside.

“We always conduct a graduation every year, but we couldn’t because of Covid. We, therefore, had a backlog of students requesting for their papers,” the academic registrar, Mr Yonasan Taremwa, earlier said in a press briefing.
A total of 749 students were awarded certificates and diplomas across 34 disciplines.
Of these, 56 males got certificates (9 percent) against 557 females (91 percent), while 22 males got diplomas (16 percent) against 114 females (81 percent); overall, there were 79 male graduates, representative of 11 percent against 670 females (89 percent).

“Our courses are for both males and females; but there is a misconception that to study, say, catering, cosmetology, secretarial or early childhood development , you must be a girl yet in the market, the male have more opportunities,”  Mr Godfrey Nkoole, the deputy principal, said.
Other students who excelled include Ms Joselyn Nakato and Mr Emmanuel Katakulu.

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