Here is how our PhD studies will benefit country

What you need to know:

  • More PhD students from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Diversity, College of Business and Management and College of Computing and Information Sciences have graduated from Makerere University during its 73rd graduation ceremony. These are among the 13,220 graduands who are slated to graduate during the long-week ceremony. 

More PhD students from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Diversity, College of Business and Management and College of Computing and Information Sciences have graduated from Makerere University during its 73rd graduation ceremony. These are among the 13,220 graduands who are slated to graduate during the long-week ceremony. Today, students from Makerere University Business School (Mubs) will graduate, writes Damali Mukhaye.  

Dr Joseph Opul: PhD in Education Management

He studied the contribution of education to building resilience of refugee learners: a case study of primary schools in Nakivale settlement, Isingiro District, western Uganda. In particular, the study assessed the contribution of the curriculum, examined the role of teachers and that of the school leadership in building the resilience of refugee learners. The findings show that the curriculum was inappropriate, teachers inadequately contributed and the school leadership was found ineffective in building the resilience of refugee learners. Despite the contribution of the curriculum, the role of the teacher and that of the school leadership in building the resilience of refugee learners, there is still limited resilience.

Dr Peter Micheal Owiny: PhD in Education Management

He studied the implication of democratisation of education on quality of primary education in Lango Sub-region, Uganda. The findings show that efforts to the democratisation of education supported learners’ participation, assessment, and completion. The use of Total Quality Management Theory by Deming in the study, presents knowledge gaps, equating learners to raw materials in the factory. The researcher in this study argued that learners are independent and, therefore, cannot be measured with similar standards as used in the factories for raw materials, but each learner should be considered as an individual with different learning needs.

Dr Sande Muwanguzi: PhD in Education Management

He studied the pedagogical effectiveness of teachers engaged in academic-related income-generating practices in government-aided secondary schools in Wakiso District. Findings revealed a breadth of both authentic and improbable compliance strategies, which teachers use to comply with pedagogical effectiveness. It was concluded that teachers’ involvement in academic-related income-generating practices gives them motivation to comply with pedagogical effectiveness despite the reported incompliance perhaps arising from administrators’ indifferent actions towards involved teachers’ practices. A model of teachers’ enterprising pedagogical effectiveness was proposed to guide objective involvement of the said teachers.

Dr Leticia Komba Rwakijuma: PhD in Education Management

She studied predictors of research productivity of academic staff at Kyambogo University. Using multiple linear regression models, the study revealed that individual factors of motivation and research skills were significant positive predictors of research productivity. Therefore, to improve research productivity, university managers were urged to enhance the motivation of academic staff by making research enjoyable, curiosity-raising, and relevant in terms of improving their status and income. They should also enhance the research skills of academic staff in relation to research methodology, grant-getting, computer for research and writing skills.

Dr Stella Margaret Ujeyo: PhD in Education Management

She explored the approaches for implementation of education for sustainable development by academic staff at Busitema University. The focus on Busitema arose from its declaration to educate for sustainable development in its mission. The study found adoption of various discipline-based programmatic approaches, dominance of teacher-centred pedagogical approaches, and basic use of ICTs. The much-desired whole system approach and transformative pedagogical approaches had not been embraced. Her report recommends a holistic, comprehensive and multidimensional approach in order to develop, harmonise and strengthen the implementation of education for sustainable development at the university.

Dr Margaret Nabulime: PhD in Animal Nutrition and Feed Sciences

She studied how to improve indigenous feed resources and feeding practices for African catfish (Clarias Gariepinus) Hatcheries. The motivation for this research was limited access and affordability of starter feeds in Uganda due to lack of home-grown quality starter feeds and expensive imported feed. Prototypes of starter feeds denoted P58 and P60 were developed and later tested with the fish. Potential local fishing baits were incorporated in prototypes as feed attractants and their action to improve feed uptake and growth. Her study found that was improvement in feed quality factors of attraction, palatability, as well as digestibility. The feed is 25 percent cheaper than the imported, affordable for the Ugandan farmers and above all, it is more sustainable.

Dr Joelia Nasaka: PhD in Animal Nutrition and Animal Production

She studied Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica) feeding practices in Uganda and their implications for egg quality. The birds (Obugubi in Luganda), are domesticated for both meat and egg production. Although quail eggs are considered healthier than chicken eggs, their nutritional composition and their overall interior quality depreciates more rapidly during storage compared to chicken eggs. This is attributed to the low shell percentage (seven percent) of quail eggs compared to (12 percent) for chicken eggs. Dr Nasaka’s study found out that ensuring adequate eggshell integrity is of greater importance in quail production. The study indicated that minerals required for formation of the eggshell are provided by nutrition and feeding.

Dr Kenneth Ssekatawa: PhD Molecular Biology and Bio Nano Technology

He investigated factors influencing the capacity of E. coli and K. pneumoniae to infect and colonise different body systems. The study revealed that the coexistence of virulence and beta-lactamase encoding genes complicates treatment outcomes. To this effect, the study investigated the carbapenem resistance profiles of pathogenic E. coli and K. pnuemoniae in Uganda. Furthermore, the study evaluated nanomaterials and bacteriophages as alternative approaches to treat bacterial infections. Among the 249 E. coli pathotypes detected, phenotypic resistance was found in 31.7 percent of isolates. For K. pnuemoniae capsular types, 34.9 percent (37/106) exhibited phenotypic resistance. 

Dr Lilian Ndagire: PhD in Information Systems

Her study developed a framework to implement IT governance in Uganda. The study revealed that structures and processes were poorly implemented, whereas relational mechanisms were fairly practiced. IT governance maturity was at level two (repeatable), indicating processes apply comparable procedures used by various people responsible for a similar job. However, official communication of standard practices is limited, resulting in errors. It was recommended that top managers directly support IT projects and policies that improve IT governance.

Dr Peter Oba: PhD in Veterinary Medicine

He studied epidemiology of selected respiratory diseases and their impacts on smallholder pig production systems in Lira District.

Findings revealed significant associations between housing type, hygiene, biosecurity practices, concurrent GIT parasite infections and studied respiratory pathogens.

The studied pathogens were associated with occurrence of pneumonia in pigs and contributed significant economic losses to farmers from reduced weight gains. Two circulating genotypes of PRRSv (PRRSv-1 and PRRSv-2) were identified, which could have implications for pig health in Uganda.

Improving floors, hygiene, waste management and GIT parasite control, as well as limiting contact with outside pigs are some of the recommendations the study prescribes to reduce economic losses due to respiratory diseases.

Dr Winnie Nabiddo: PhD in  Economics

She studied educational attainment, household education expenditure and learning outcomes in Uganda. This is because education attainment and learning outcomes remain below the national development targets, despite the implementation of several education policies and programmes such as the Universal Primary and Universal Secondary Education policies. The findings confirm the positive association between household education expenditure and education attainment; poor households spend a larger share of their income on education; and the school governance factors were found to significantly impact learning outcomes at primary level.

Dr Medard Turyamureba: PhD in Economics

He studied the demand for health care and private health insurance in Uganda. The findings showed that the cost of health care negatively influenced the choice of government health facilities, while household welfare positively influenced the choice of private health facilities. Having a health insurance cover significantly increased the probability of utilising antenatal care and delivery at a health facility by 30 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Also, wealth index, education level, age, marital status, region, and access to information were significant determinants of demand for voluntary health insurance.

Dr Anthony Wamala: PhD in Economics

He investigated the relationship between Technical, Vocational Education Training (TVET) and employment, and the interactive effect of TVET and employment on poverty among the working age population in Uganda.

Results indicate that employment outcome significantly increases by 4.3 percent among TVET holders compared to non-TVET holders. TVET also significantly reduces the probability of being poor among employed individuals, whether TVET enters the poverty model singly, or upon interaction with employment characteristics (4.2 percent).

This effect is more observed among those employed in the industrial and services sectors compared to those in the agricultural sector, and among those in formal compared to informal employment.

The study recommends that promoting TVET education and entry of TVET holders into formal, industrial and services sectors is critical for Uganda’s unemployment and poverty reduction.

Dr Justine Nakirijja: PhD in Software Engineering

She studied planning public sector software projects (systems) to manage scope complexity and stakeholder expectations to gain project value and success. The study found out that public sector projects characterise layers of stakeholders with unique expectations. These involve requirements and relationships that build complexity. When stakeholder expectations and project goals don’t align, disasters happen. The study proposed an ‘adaptive framework based on predictive modelling with Artificial Intelligence and Network Models, and Requirements Engineering Architecture (REA), for scope complexity management and expectations alignment with project goals’. The framework’s foundations are the recurrent neural network model to assess the quality of multilevel requirements, the network modelling to specify the origin, nature, and impact of product scope complexity, and the architecture (REA) engages stakeholders to structure requirements.

Dr Kiziti Ongaya: PhD in Information Systems

He developed a model for emerging disease surveillance, with focus on nodding syndrome. The study traced nodding syndrome in northern Uganda to as early 1990s, with the latest cases in 2017. The research discovered that blackfly seasonal abundance was influenced by rainfall seasons, and closely linked to seasonal onsets of nodding syndrome. There is a close relationship between nodding syndrome and associated-epilepsy, a condition termed as (scaffolding pattern). This, therefore, has policy implications on surveillance and blackfly control programmes. The study proposed a model for surveillance of diseases with unknown cause based on spatial analysis and data triangulation.