By Moses Sserwanga
Universities should change the manner in which they deliver education by emphasizing practical- innovative skills training rather than testing old theories if the country is to over comethe growing unemployment problem ,renowned scholar, Prof. Sandy StevesTickodri- Togboa has stated .
“What is the purpose of telling first year University students to test the ohm’s law theory in the 21 century .Instead ,students should be encouraged to think outside the box and come up with new innovative ideas and solutions to the challenges of the fast changing modern world,” he said .
Prof Tickodri –Togboa , who is also the Executive Chairman of Kiira Motors Corporation Uganda ‘s flagship for the automotive industry , was speaking to students and staff of Muni University in Arua district .
The change in the universities’ teaching methods, he noted, will lead to the production of skilled graduates to tackle society’stechnological challenges . “ Uganda and Africa in general can not sit back as the rest of the world is fully engaged in transformative -technology innovations .Some of our Universities’ pedagogy must change,” he stressed.
While highlighting his own experience while still lecturing at Makerere University’s college of Engineering Design Art and Technology , Tickodri-Togboa said he had to make some radical proposals to offer hands-on skills training to his students that eventually resulted in the production of the first concept electric vehicle in Uganda and Africa. “This idea has now transformed into something big for Uganda –the Kiira Motors Corporation that is set to produce cars for the first time in Uganda. We are now in the process of setting up a vehicles production plant at the Jinja industrial Park- a government venture that many Ugandans are proud of ,” he said.
He said the Kiira Motors model should be picked up by universities and work on innovative projects that will be of national value. For the last one week ,Prof. Tickodri has led a team of engineers from Kiira Motors , to showcase and validate the capabilities of the Kiira EVS car while on a tour of West Nile , Northern and Eastern regions of the country covering a distance of well over 1500 kilometers .
Other team members included ,RichardMadanda, Fred Matovu, Mario GiraObua ,Ian John Kawuma, Moses WasswaKalule and Fred Kayemba.
Mr. Allan Muhumuza, the company’s Business Development Manager, said Kiira Motors has made the decision to the exhibition the vehicle in various parts of the country to show Uganda’s capabilities in making executive sedans locally and cultivate orders for the niche market segment.
“We have continued to push the frontiers of what was thought as far-fetched in Uganda’s upstream participation in the automotive value chain. The Kiira EVS is one fine piece of Ugandan engineering and design,” he stated.
He said that by showcasing the Kiira EVS, the company will demonstrate to Ugandans the vast opportunities available in the automotive industry for local content development. “When the automotive industry takes off with Kiira Motors at the helm, Ugandans should be in position to benefit directly through prospects for manufacturing and supplying vehicle parts for the Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja,” Muhumuzawho was addressing students at Muni University ,added.
At Muni University ,Kiira motors team was received by the Deputy Vice Chancellor , Prof. Simon Aguma, University Secretary . Fr. Picho, the Deputy University Secretary, AbokMaxwell Amulla and Guild President Jesse Mugabi.
At OdurubaPrimary School, where Prof.Tickdori enrolled for his primary education more than 50 years ago, he encouraged the pupils to work hard to ensure that they takeover from the current generation and carry on with home made technological innovations .
He implored the teachers to pay special attention to the girl child to embrace science subjects . The Kiira EVS was also exhibited at Arua demonstration school, and the elite St Mary’s Ediofe girls school where excited students promised to study sciences and become innovators to transform the country .
The Deputy RDC Aruadistrict ,Ms Alice Akello called upon the youth to be innovative and self sustaining . he District police Commander Arua, Sam suubi said that Kiira Motors was a great inspiration to the country in the field of science and technology and should be emulated by the youth o fight poverty .
In Pakwach there will be a big function to welcome the beast at the famous Pakwach bridge the lC V chairman , Hon Robert Steen Omitowas joined by a mammoth crowd to welcome the Kiira EVS also known as the Beast . Other towns where the car was showcased included , Nebbi, Lira, Gulu, Moroto, Tororo, Mbale and Iganga.
While at the school, he told the pupils that he was taught by the same teachers and studied in the same buildings before joined Namilyongo college and later joined Makerere University where he studied engineering . He was among the first students to work on the kiira EV concept vehicle . Heencouraged the pupils to study hard especially Mathematics and sciences to aspire to become engineers and innovators to contribute to their country’s development agenda .He said someof them could one day make parts for the cars made in Uganda.
Kiira Motors Corporation is a State Enterprise established to make vehicles in Uganda. “One of our strategic objectives is to set up and operate vehicle plants and service centers for the assembly and selling of vehicles and provision of vehicle support products and services that exceed customer expectation,” Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi the KMC, Chief Executive Officer said.
Kiira Motors Corporation has also produced the Kayoola Solar Bus and the Kiira EV, winning regional and international recognition as a pioneer in developing vehicle clean energy technologies in Africa.
The KiiraEVSisa4-SeaterExecutiveVehicle builtofftheKiiraEV SMACKPlatformfittedwitha2.0Litre Petrol Engine,5 Speed AutomaticTransmission,andanexquisiteBeigeInteriorTrim.
By Moses Sserwanga