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    ULK Debaters win Debate Mate Rwanda 2018

    Debate Mate is a unique, international educational charity dedicated to improving social mobility using cost-effective peer-to-peer debate mentoring based in the United Kingdom. It uses the brightest university students to run after-school debate clubs in areas of high child poverty across the world; Over the last nine years, they have successfully taught over 25,000 young people to debate in the UK, USA, Jamaica, Nepal, Dubai, Doha, Mexico, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Japan, Korea and Israel.It provides young people with the skills they need to become exceptional young leaders – confidence, interpersonal communication skills and higher order thinking.

    This summer from 30thJuly 2018 to 03rd august 2018 the Debate Mate Program was back in Kigali. It consisted of three days of training from Monday 30thJuly to Wednesday 02nd august and it was followed by a final competition on Thursday 03rd August at the University of Rwanda ,College of Medicine and Health Sciences (former KHI), Nyarugenge Campus.

    The program was delivered by top Debate Mate Coaches from top international universities, including Yale University, the London School of Economics, University College London, the University of Liverpool and many more. The program aimed at developing the following skills: confident communication, spoken English, leadership, critical thinking, team work, as well as improving academic ability.

    This program was attended by different Rwandan universities including Kigali Independent University ULK. The latter was represented by three debaters namely; SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, NISHIMWE Ariane Douce and Uwera Ruth. Furthermore the teams of the first two students managed to get to the finals and won the competition; immediately becoming the Debate Mate Rwanda 2018 Champions thus an honor to ULK.

    After the competition, ULK’s Students taking pictures with the trophy they won for and enjoying the victory after many enthusiasic and hot rounds of debates.

     

     

     

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    ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS STUDENTS BRIEFED ON THE ROLE OF YOUTH IN FIGHTING GENOCIDE IDEOLOGY

     

    On 1st November  2018, ULK/Gisenyi Campus students had a great privilege to be briefed on the role of the Rwandan youth in the fight against genocide ideology, by Mr. Claver GATABAZI, in Charge of Education and Genocide Prevention Programmes in CNLG.

     

    Upon the presenter’s arrival in the campus’s conference hall, there was a great number of students who had been eagerly waiting to hear from him. To get the ball rolling, the senior most of the campus, Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, Academic Director, introduced the guest to the audience, revealed the theme of his presentation and eventually bade everyone in attendance to be all ears on grounds of the relevancy of the theme of the presentation.

    “Today, our campus is honoured to host a commissioner from CNLG who has come to brief you, as intellectual youth,  on the role you have to play in fighting against genocide ideology. You will all agree with me that the topic of today’s conference is of paramount importance since you need to know how you should partake in that fight to build Rwanda free of genocide and the like”, he was quoted saying.

    In his introductory word, the presenter highlighted that the fight against genocide ideology is not exclusively the apanage of CNLG or just the government of Rwanda. Every Rwandan citizen, particularly the youth,  must join the fight instead.

    It followed that the presenter told the audience that for the youth to effectively get involved in the fight against genocide ideology, there are a number of requirements;  patriotism, heroism, knowing the history of one’s country, just to mention but a few.

    “In principle, there is a set of values that should characterize you so as to ascertain you are effectively involved in the fight against genocide ideology. Such values include among others patriotic and heroic spirit, awareness of the history of your country, altruism, and many more values”, he told the gathering.

    The presenter went on to emphasize why the youth ought to know the history of Rwanda if they really want to engage in the fight against  genocide ideology.

    “As a matter of fact, you should take time to read or inquire about the history of Rwanda so that you can get to know past drastic events that marked your country over the years. Considering the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, history will unequivocally show you how that genocide draws its root in the past, where the Tutsi were marginalized, discriminated and nullified.  History will hence show you that the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 was not an abrupt event, but rather a well planned event (…)”, he said.

    Everything considered, he called upon the gathering to fight the people who deny the genocide perpetrated  against the Tutsi by all means, use of social medias among others. Still there, he bade the gathering to take time to educate local people and resist anyone who dares disseminate separative ideology among people.

    The conference climaxed with a question-answer session during which various questions related to the theme of the presentation were asked and answered satisfactorily.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    GATABAZI urges ULK staff and students to fight genocide ideology

     

    On 25 October 2018, GATABAZI Claver, the Officer in Charge of Education and Genocide Prevention Programs in CNLG, addressed ULK staff and students on the role of the youth in fighting the genocide ideology.

    The event was graced by, among other participants, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel and MBONIGABA Théoneste, the Head of Students’ Affairs and Customer Care.

     

    In his welcome note, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, thanked the messenger from CNLG for having dedicated his dear time to addressing ULK community and then he requested the gathering to lend him ears.

    “I’d like to thank GATABAZI for having come to talk to us on such a topic of great importance. I therefore wish to request you to lend him your ears since the topic he is going to talk about is of great significance, and as you know with the genocide ideology, the future can’t be promising”, he told the participants.

    In his message to the eager participants, GATABAZI gave the historical background of divisionism and hatred among Rwandans. As he said, divisionism and hatred go back to the arrival of colonial masters who settled in the country and sought ways to uninterruptedly lead Rwandans; hence they found divisionism and hatred the catalysts towards that aspiration.

    “The unity of Rwandans suffered a lot upon the arrival of white colonialists. When they arrived, Rwandans were enjoying the spirit of brotherhood among themselves but this bond of brotherhood got broken as a result of the colonialists who introduced teachings that Rwandans weren’t originally the same and thus they shouldn’t stick themselves together for a shared future”, he said.

    This mindset would ignite ire among Hutu population who would start hunting down Tutsis from 1959 by forcing many of them to leave their homes and exile to the neighboring countries. The hatred leapfrogged until 1994 when the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi claimed more than one million lives”, he added.

    GATABAZI also told the participants ten (10) stages of genocide, namely; classification, symbolization, discrimination, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, persecution, extermination and denial. As he said, these stages can be found in all genocides which have so far been recognized by the United Nations.

    Besides, GATABAZI assigned the participants especially the youth to stand tall and ready to fight the revisionism and denial of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi as there are some fugitives who are yet to be brought to book and they are currently doing all in their power to confuse the world that no genocide took place in Rwanda, while others try to trivialize the genocide.

    Towards the end of the function, the floor was opened to the attendees so as to ask questions or echo their comments. Many questions were asked in this session and answers were satisfactorily given.

    It should be noted that CNLG is the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.

     

     

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    Former ULK student and EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda, tips ULK Debaters

    On 15th October 2018, Peace NDEKEZI, former ULK student in the Department of International Relations, addressed ULK Debaters to tip them on how to speak in public and think critically.

    Her visit followed an invitation from the Debate Club committee members who requested her to come and brief the members of the Club as a former EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda, a position she held after her exceptional debate skills showcased during the EAC Debate Championship hosted by Kenya in 2015.

    Before handing the microphone to the guest of honor, Mr. Jean Baptiste MANIRAKIZA, the Head of the Center of Languages at Kigali Independent University ULK, thanked NDEKEZI for her time reserved for addressing the debaters. He also requested the debaters to be all eyes and all ears so as to learn from the speaker’s experience as far as the world of debate and public speaking is concerned.

    “We’re very much honored to be with Peace NDEKEZI, one of the students who have so far made our institution and country proud. As a former EAC Youth Ambassador, we believe she will inspire us on how to debate effectively. I therefore request all of you to listen intelligently and learn a lot from her”, he said.

    Echoing how the idea to invite NDEKLEZI stemmed out their minds, SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, one of the brains behind the celebrity’s invitation, said that they met Peace NDEKEZI in one event that was taking place in Kigali and they requested her to come and share her experience with the debaters with the intention being to inspire them.

    In her message, Peace NDEKEZI narrated how her success was not a result of random. It is something she prepared and sweated for. As she said, she could barely form a meaningful sentence in English when she embarked on her academic project at ULK. However, her spirit of knowing what she wanted, pushed her to read a lot, listen to different radio and TV programs in English as well as interacting with many people in English. With this initiative, her level of proficiency in English leapfrogged to the extent that the university entrusted confidence in her to represent it in various debate competitions until she was crowned East African Youth Ambassador to Rwanda after emerging one of the best debaters in the competition which was taking place in Kenya in 2015.

    “Not all was a bed of roses when I started my university studies. I couldn’t easily form a sentence in English. Then, I determined myself to be reading English books, listen to broadcasts in English and interact with people in English. This initiative helped me considerably until I was declared EAC Youth Ambassador to Rwanda,” she proudly said.

    NDEKEZI urged the debaters to be focused and never allow anyone to discourage them as some will laugh at them whenever they commit grammatical mistakes but this should not deter them from keeping the momentum as the future belongs to those who never give up.

    “Speak and accept to be laughed at. There are some people who always laugh at others because of communication problems. Let them laugh and continue practicing your language skills until you reach the level of perfection where you will be amazing whoever listens to you”, she advised them.

    Questions were asked at the end of the function and everyone marveled at the way NDEKEZI speaks and answers questions.

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    ULK/GISENYI CAMPUS OFFICIALLY INTEGRATES  THE NEW STUDENTS

    Year in year out, universities and institutions of higher learning operating in Rwanda take time to integrate new students before they can verse into different courses scheduled for their respective programmes. It is in this perspective that today 5th October 2018, Kigali Independent University ULK/Gisenyi Campus officially integrated its fresher students known as “Intore nshya”. Prior to this official integration were activities which lasted five consecutive days (i.e. from Monday 1st October 20 up to early today Friday 5th October 2018). The activities were in line with a special week dubbed “induction week.” Throughout this induction week, the new students were briefed on various topics aiming at acquainting them with their rights and obligations as students. Topics addressing the government’s policies and programmes were not left aside. It is in this framework that different government officials, especially from the district level, made it to the campus in the course of the induction week to meet and brief the new students. Additionally, the new students were led to perform certain physical and mental activities related to building unity, developing endurance, patriotism, problem-solving ability and the like.

    Upon entering the main hall of the campus, the new students were warmly welcomed by upper classes students as well as the staff. It was indeed a ceremony rich in colours. As a matter of fact,  the new students performed sketches, among other activities, in a view to thrill the audience and demonstrate their mastery of knowledge and skills that had been imparted to them along the induction week.

    Speaking on the occasion, the senior most of the campus Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, Academic Director and Coordinator of Master’s Programme of ULK/Gisenyi Campus, enthusiastically thanked the new students for having decided to join university studies and taken ULK as the university where their dream must come true.

    “On this special day of yours, I wish to thank you on behalf of ULK community and on my own behalf for the great decision you took to embark on university studies here at ULK. Indeed, it is a decision you cannot regret. You will all agree with me that education is the most important investment. It is therefore no wonder that benefits or gains are awaiting you,” he said.

    Still in his address, Mr. ISHEMA Pierre also thanked the new students for having devoted themselves to the induction week’s activities, in these words:

    “All this week long your trainers introduced you to various activities. Some of those activities called for your endurance. Thank you very much indeed for your successful completion. Now that you have made it, you are worthy of our thanks and congratulations. Feel now at home because you are no longer fresher, you are now Intore mu zindi.”

    In his address, the Guest of honour, Mr. MUGISHA Francois, Chairman of Intore in Rubavu District, specifically shed light on what must characterize a real Intore.

    “It goes without saying that you are now Intore integrated among the other Intore. Plus, the Gild President has just signed, on behalf of all the Intore under his lead, performance contracts. You must take your new position of Intore seriously and ascertain you comply with what is expected from you. As from now onward, you should be the light and role model to people you live with outside there by being heroes, patriots, peace-makers, problem solvers, just to mention among others,” he was quoted saying.

    It is on the Guest of honour’s note that the ceremony climaxed.

     

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    ULK UNVEILS THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR 2018-2019

    In a glamorous event that had attracted people from all backgrounds of life, Kigali Independent University ULK along with ULK Polytechnic Institute officially launched the new academic year 2018-2019 on 1st October, 2018.

    In his opening remarks, Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, the Chancellor of ULK, expressed his gratitude to the management of ULK for launching the new academic year and make it coincide with the Introduction Week through which new students are morally trained so as to study while upholding ethical values.

    “I’d like to wholeheartedly thank the management of ULK for a smooth preparation of the Induction Week through which new students will be civically trained on values and taboos. It is a week that will undoubtedly be beneficial to whoever will take part in its activities”, he said

    Dr. Karambizi Sylvestre, the Principal of ULK Polytechnic assured the students that they will live to rejoice for the best choice they made when they joined ULK. He also said that ULK Polytechnic is equipped enough to offer the knowledge and skills a student needs to better fit on the market place.

    “ULK Polytechnic is fully equipped and has the best lecturers who sharpen students’ minds in technical fields. To this, I’m pleased to let you know that you will never regret the best choice you made when you joined us”, he assured them.

    The Vice Chancellor of ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel urged the students to always strive for taking the lead in doing things instead of watching others do things.

    “There are three categories of people; those who make things happen, those who see things happening and those who wonder how things happen. Always strive to belong to the first category and make things happen to change the world around you”, he told the students.

    The Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, told the students that they should use the top class resources available at the campus to truly meet their aspirations. He gave them six tips that make a student academically excellent. He said those six tips should go hand in hand with ethical values to better become effective.

    “You should couple ethical values with six elements for you to batter become quality students. The six elements are regular class participation, personal regular study, group work, the mastery of English skills, the mastery of ICT skills; reading books either in the physical or digital library.”

    Still on this event, six debaters who won the first and third places in the recently concluded Debate Championship here in Rwanda were shown to the public and appreciated. The three debaters will soon fly to Tanzania to represent Rwanda as a whole in the Pan-African Debate Championship.

    The event climaxed in a word of prayer said by the Founder and president of ULK.

     

     

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    ULK DEBATERS ARE THIS YEAR’S DEBATE CHAMPIONS IN RWANDA

    In a competition that was organized by ASPIRE Debate Rwanda and ran from 14th to 15th September 2018 at the University of Kigali, ULK Debaters emerged the champions after knocking out all the participating universities from across the country.

    Apart from enabling the debaters to think critically and speak in public, the competition revealed how informed the debaters are as far as democracy is concerned.

    Since the competition format was to rely on the British parliamentary debate format, every university was allowed to field in as many teams as it wanted. This made it possible for two teams from Kigali Independent University ULK to reach the finals and they were both awarded as the champions and second run up at the end of the competition.

    Asked to have a say after winning the countrywide competition, Mr. SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, one of the ULK debaters said that they went to the competition believing that they will scoop the trophy since they regularly sharpen their debate skills through  reading and arguing on a number of topics.

    “The culture of debates is part and parcel of what we do every day at ULK. We have a strong debate Club and our university provided us with facilities that enable us to properly sharpen our minds. Therefore, when we went to that competition, we already knew we were going to win it because we practice regularly and read a lot”, he was quoted as saying.

    The whole competition covered two days before it came to its end. Throughout the competition,  debaters exchanged on motions such as “ This house as an emerging democracy would suppress local media providers in favor of international media providers,  This house believes that the west should prioritize stability over exporting democracy in foreign policy”, etc. ULK Debaters proved their debate prowess by garnering all the marks from the adjudicators.

    Asked to express her feelings, KABANDA Erica, the President of the Debate Club, seemed to be missed of words and then she said that the spirit of working together as a team led to their victory.

    “Beating all the universities from around the country isn’t something easy. It required us to work closely together as a team and exchange on the best way to respond to the attacks. I’m glad we convinced the adjudicators and they’ve announced us winners of this year’s debate Championship”, She proudly said.

    After winning the trophies, ULK Debaters brought them and on Monday 17th September 2018, they presented the trophies to the management of the university.

    In his congratulatory message, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, thanked the debaters for making ULK proud and pledged that the university will continue to do all it takes to support the debaters for more victories in the years to come.

    “The management of the university is proud of you. You’ve made all of us proud by winning a big competition like this. Let me therefore reiterate that we will continue to do all in our power to support you so that this winning spirit may prevail”, he assured them.

    At the end of trophy presenting session, the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, expressed his satisfaction vis-à-vis the victory of the debaters and urged them to inspire even many other students so that this culture of debating may thrive.

    “I’m proud of you debaters for the victory you’ve brought back to your university. You’ve really made all of us proud and I’d like to request you to keep that winning spirit by encouraging and inspiring your brothers and sisters to join the debate club”, he enthusiastically said.

    Winning the national debate championship earned ULK debaters ticket to attend the Pan-African Debate Championship due in Dar es Salaam/ Tanzania in December this year. At this time, they will be representing Rwanda.

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    All Africa Students Union (AASU)

    Kigali Independent University ULK hosted students in All Africa Students Union (AASU), attending their Africa Students and Youth Summit (ASYS), this Thursday 26th, July, 2018. The aim of the visit was to get a clear stand of development of Rwanda spearheaded by His Excellency Paul Kagame.

    Students, under the delegation of the President of AASU Mr Mohamad Osman, had the opportunity to visit the university premises accompanied by the university high authorities including, but not limited to the Vice Chancellor, Dr SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr NSENGIYUMVA Jacques and the Director of Academic Services, Mr BAHATI Vedaste. Their tour on campus started at ULK stadium which may accommodate 14,000 persons, then different schools within the campus and labs (Polytechnic workshops and computer labs). This group was really fascinated by the state of the university.

    After visiting different sites, the Vice Chancellor welcomed the delegation and introduced them to the background of the university and gave them more details about how it operates. Dr Sekibibi went back to the historical background of the university, how it was founded by Prof Rwigamba Balinda after realizing a gap in education after 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. He mentioned that the foundation of the university has been of great contribution to the development of Rwanda as it has given opportunities to many people, be they Rwandans or foreigners, to pursue their studies and offered scholarships to 2802 students. He also emphasized that all the progress made by the university was because of good leadership under His Excellency Paul Kagame, and that no one can prosper without peace. He finally thanked them to have chosen Kigali Independent University ULK as one of their referral university among many in Rwanda.

    In his speech, Mr Mohamad Osman, the delegation representative, thanked the University for Warm Welcome and appreciated how it looks paperless in Africa. He added that Rwanda should be a very speaking example to African countries and world at large for her tremendous achievements after such horrific history. He insisted on how Rwanda is developing very fast and mentioned that it is very fascinating to export such experience that Africa should learn from Rwanda.

    In the closing remarks, the Vice Chancellor wished the students safe journey back to their places, blessings and success wherever they will be.