The closing ceremony for the Seminar on Advanced Research Methods for Academic Staff of Amoud University was held at the graduation hall, main campus, Amoud University on Sunday, January 13th, 2020. Participants of Amoud University Training on Research Methods Seminar and which was recently held at Amoud University main campus and conducted between Saturday, January 4th, 2020 – Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 and facilitated by Dr. David Onen were awarded with certificates of participation.
Hassan Sh. Abdirahman Elmi was the event master of ceremonies. Various speakers were given an opportunity to speak on their own behalf and on behalf of other members of the teams. Among those who spoke were Dr. Sarah D. Kyolaba who was invited to deliver a vote of thanks on behalf of all participants. In her opening speech, she said she was thankful to Allah for leading the academic staff to such a fruitful and wonderful seminar. She further gave thanks to the management for putting in such resources as to enable the event to take place. She said she was first, grateful for Vice President Academic affairs who invited Dr. Onen to Amoud University and secondly to the Vice President Finance and Administration for facilitation of Dr. Onen's travel and accommodation. Lastly she paid tribute to all organizers who were involved with the event.
Dr. Onen she said, had taught her humility when he was her supervisor for her PhD degree. She further divulged that he mentored her that upon graduation with a PhD, that is the time to know that you do not know anything and therefore it is the time to open up your mind to absorb even more knowledge. She thanked Dr. Onen for the knowledge, expertise and skills, that in her view had sharpened every participant and inspired them to aggressively seek more knowledge. To the participants, she passed her congratulations to everyone for active and involving participation which was following a learner centered method of teaching, that has proved always to be very useful in absorption of concepts. Finally she strongly encouraged all participants to take up what they had learnt so that they can put them into practice because without implementation of the new knowledge gained, the seminar would not have done members much use.
Said Hassan Habaneh was the next to speak on behalf of the deans and directors who attended the seminar. In his speech he expressed his satisfaction with the turn out for the seminar, and also with the general participation of all attendees of the seminar. He was further very, very, grateful to the entire Management team, especially for the willingness to put resources into quality of knowledge, in terms of research, which yielded a four-day very intensive seminar and beneficial seminar. In addition, he suggested that with different view points expressed during the seminar, it would be a real happy ending if what transpired would help add value to the way we were helping our students at Amoud University in terms of research supervision. Dr. Onen, coming all the way from Uganda, helping both students directly and also from staff indirectly, would give new insights into how we supervised the students. The essence of the seminar was to transfer knowledge and understanding and that ultimately students should the greatest beneficiaries from a synchronized supervision and coaching by their supervisors. The kind of knowledge learnt would help to diversify the knowledge we have so as not to risk sticking on the one and only method known to us. He philosophized that "One can finish school but one may never stop learning". He opined that through humility, willingness to embrace new knowledge, commitment and self-discipline, knowledge has to change a person's character and behaviour. One's actions, he said, can teach much more details than what one knows and what one says by their words. The knowledge you have should change the way you carry yourselves.
Dr. Onen delivered his closing remarks by first expressing delight on seeing the staff who had attended the seminar. He opened up that this seminar had been quite unique in the sense that although he has conducted various other similar seminars universities in Uganda such as Kyambogo University and Kisubi University, he had not met a lively and immersed team in terms of participation as the one he witnessed at Amoud. He said he had enjoyed interaction much more than he had initially anticipated and thanked participants wholeheartedly for their individual and collective contributions to the wonderful success of the seminar.
Dr. Onen further thanked the leadership of Amoud University under the President, Prof. Suleiman Ahmed Gulaid. He said that Prof. Suleiman and his team had made many head-ways in various aspects since he last visited the university seven years ago and has had the opportunity to see both quantitative growth and qualitative growth for example in such areas as infrastructure like roads and pavements, university buildings and campuses in two cities Borama and Hargeisa. Since opening of the postgraduate department, over 400 students have been graduated for Masters degrees, and until now the university has maintained and sustained student numbers, this could only be attributed to the kind of able leadership of Prof Suleiman and his team, he said. Moreover, he said he was also grateful to Willis Oso Yuko for his commitment and sacrifice for helping Amoud University School of Postgraduate Studies and Research to stay on course all these years. A lot has been done, he said. he further thanked Staff of Amoud University, the leadership in various academic and central office units for the work they had done in playing their roles to keep the reputation of the university at the highest levels it currently is at. As he was winding up he challenged staff to Share knowledge and get properly grounded in the area where they are supposed to perform for example in Quantitative data analysis staff must ask themselves how comfortable they are in applying the various inferential statistical methods in their research work. He also invited staff to participate actively in issues of publications for example staff could also use his influence to send quality articles for publication in Uganda for international reach, which would increase their respect in academic world.
The key note address was delivered on behalf of Amoud University by Prof. Ahmed Abdilahi Boqore, Vice President, Administration and Finance, Amoud University who represented Prof. Suleiman Ahmed Gulaid ,in his absence, at the event. He opened his remasrks by stating his gratitude to Dr. Onen for teaching the staff what he knows and for sharing of his experience from all the way from Uganda. He was further thankful to Dr. Mohamed Muse Jibril who actually had the initiative of holding such a seminar, and for the concrete organization that ensured Dr. Onen arrived and the event successfully conducted. Delving into his own personal experience, as a student as masters degree level some time back he reminisced how research could be very frustrating for both students and supervisors if things were not to be handled properly.
There should be a collective work, both students and the staff so that outputs or results are good at the end of the day, he said. Both students and supervisors are required to do their parts properly and if everything is done fr candidates to successfully defend their proposals or theses during the Viva Voce. The viva voce sessions, he opined, should never be a battle field for settling disputes or scores among supervisors because staff should condone, tolerate each other and not take things to heart. The vivas must necessarily be academic in nature where academic truths and guidelines take precedence. He therefore urges lecturers to co-operate among themselves as much as it would be practically possible. Much of the work is finished at the proposal level because once a student does a good job at the introduction with good literature review and lays out an accurate methodology, data collection and analysis becomes very easy.
In this regard, The Vice President Administration and Finance therefore urged all supervisors to get time for the students because their dignity and reputation is also involved. He further advised the supervisors to be kind to the students, but not too lenient to the extent of affecting quality or standards. He urged the lecturers to accord more time to the students. We are a young university and we are growing together, he said. He further expressed resonance with the expatriate staff saying that he knows lecturers are missing a lot of amenities and facilities back at home including family who are not with them, all these being sacrifices they are making for Amoud university's sake. In conclusion, he said thanks to all staff for attending the seminar that lasted four days. Several ideas came up during the four days, he said, and it was a very beneficial seminar to all who participated and to Amoud University in general. In his partying shot, he once again thanked Dr. Mohamed M. Jibril, for coming up with the idea of having a seminar and for such innovative ideas and expressed hoped that more of such seminars and conferences would continue to take place to build capacities for Amoud University.
In late December 2019, Professor Suleiman Ahmed Guleid, President, Amoud University, appointed Dr. Alexander Finlayson