In a contested debate competition, the Kigali Independent University Debate Club occupied the first run-up position after outshining in the recently concluded East African Debate Competition which was held virtually on 7th September 2020. This milestone comes after the ULK Debate Club emerged the champion of Rwanda back in March, 2020 after beating all participating universities in Rwanda.
This year’s competition rotated around policy justice as the central theme. The competition was slated to be physically hosted by Uganda but owing to the relentless surge in COVID-19 cases, the organizers opted for the virtual debate format.
Despite the novelty of the format, ULK debaters braved the waves to put up a well coordinated debate which left the organizers look in awe.
Three debaters namely, Christ Jordan, Chris Oliver and Divine Abayo were the ones fighting rhetorically on the ULK side. Divine Abayo is also the chairperson of the ULK Debate Club after being unanimously elected by fellow debaters in an election held back in 2018.
Asked what enabled the team to reach that privilege, Divine Abayo said that team-spirit and pieces of advice from the ULK management and fellow debaters were behind the registered success.
“We work as a team. Be it those on the frontline or other members of the debate club, we all work together for common goals. When we’re competing, unity remains our key weapon for success. Besides, the logistic and moral support from our Alma Mater boosts our courage and determination for success”, she said with beams of smile on her lips.
As the whole world is currently battling COVID-19 effects with reliance being mainly on technology, Kigali Independent University ULK chose to follow suit and upgraded its technology to stand tall in the world of Information Communication Technology. As a matter of illustration, the university currently has a smart classroom which is used to remotely teach students. Indeed, this smart classroom played a pivotal role in helping the debaters stun their EAC fellows as the internet remained at its highest speed from start to finish.
The culture of debating to suggest the best way things should be done has become part and parcel of ULK students. As a matter of fact, the ULK Debate Club has so far won a number of trophies at national level with more fame at regional level. It should be noted that the Debate Club operates under the ULK Center of Languages (CELA) which trains students on debating formats and strategies.
As the ULK flag keeps flying higher on a global scale, let us thank the debaters who, in one way or another, contribute to these great strides.
Following the decision by the Cabinet Meeting that schools in Rwanda will reopen in September 2020, Kigali Independent University ULK convened a meeting in which heads of units were briefed on the mechanisms towards sustaining the welfare of employees during this closure period.
As underscored by Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, the Founder and President of ULK, all employees with no exception will continue to earn some amount of money on a monthly basis after penning a special contract stipulating salary deduction modalities.
“I’d like to let you know that no single employee will be sacked or suspended. Instead, we’re going to share the savings made over the last period of time so as to see how we can all overcome the overarching effects of COVID-19”, he told the participants.
He added that supporting workers earning less than one hundred fifty thousand Rwandan francs (150,000Frw) will not be affected by the expected salary deduction which will extend over five months. Those under deduction scheme are administrative staff, lecturers and officials of the university.
Employees welcomed with both hands the good news that they will not be laid off during this difficult period. To this, they wholeheartedly thanked the Founder and President with his family and they pledged to continue working hard for the betterment of ULK.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, Vice Chancellor of ULK
In his remarks, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of ULK, commended the spirit of humanity showcased by the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda. He went further to reiterate that ICT is the backbone of any human realization in today’s era.
“This pandemic caught the world unaware. This therefore calls for comprehensive measures meant to sustain and scale up activities with no shortcoming registered. Hence Information Technology remains a reliable tool to be used by both lecturers and learners. That’s why everybody should make it a priority. Like in our case here at ULK the necessary infrastructure such as ULK E-learning Platform, Digital Library, IT Team, have been availed”, said the Vice Chancellor. He kept on urging all learners to earnestly follow their facilitators via the ULK E-learning Platform.
Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre, the Principal of ULK Polytechnic Institute
The Principal of ULK Polytechnic Institute (UPI) Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre appealed to lecturers to continue assisting learners by creating a conducive e-learning environment to enable learners to remain on track.
ULK has set a pace in the area of e-learning geared towards facilitating learners during this off-school period.
During the event, some minutes were set aside to throw some light on the ongoing e-learning support rendered to learners in their respective homes. The lecturers and IT Team statistically showed how this mode of supporting is massively attended. This vindicates how learners are interested in the system. However not all is a bed of roses: all of them do not have facilities such as laptops, smart-phones, internet bundles, and the like.
The crisis continues to aggravate all over the world.