EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Br. Aloysius Byaruhanga
Coordinator RCE Greater Masaka
Community Outreach at Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) officially started in 1999 when a special unit was created to serve as a community social service arm of Equator Valley Farm (EVF), with a purpose of contributing to community development. In 2003, the unit was transformed into an independent non-teaching department and was named the UMU Community Outreach Programme (UMUCOP).
The department managed and coordinated Community Outreach Programs and related researches. After UMU embracing the promotion and mainstreaming of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in 2009 and being recommended and acknowledged to host the Regional Centre of Expertise (ESD) in Greater Masaka by the United Nations University in Japan on 17th December 2015, the department was named “Department of Education for Sustainable Development and Community Engagement”, taking on the added responsibility of implementing the mainstreaming of Education for Sustainable Development in the university and the coordinating the ESD activities in the Regional Centre of Expertise Greater Masaka (RCEGM).
The main purpose of the department is to fulfill one aspect of the university’s mission for existence, that is, “Service to Humanity”, and her view that the university must not exist in isolation but must be involved and concerned about the challenges faced by communities around it.
Our Vision is; a department that promotes prosperity and collaborates with the community for quality education, research, sustainable development and improved livelihoods.
The Objectives of the department include; (1)To promote Community Engagement in the University (2) To develop, coordinate and implement sustainable development programmes and projects within communities (3) To build strong relationships, consolidate networks and collaborations, form platforms for documenting and sharing of best practices (4) To spearhead implementation of Education for Sustainable Development in the university (mainstreaming of ESD in the university curricula, programs, policies, plans and practices) (5) To coordinate the Regional Centre of Expertise Greater Masaka (RCEGM)activities on Education for sustainable development in the region (6) To document and promote sustainable development best practices.
The Core components of the department are; Community engagement, ESD mainstreaming, Coordinating RCEGM activities, Students internship/exchange programs, Research and Documentation.
The Department is mandated to ensure that; Sustainable Development community centered programs and projects are developed and implemented, Education for Sustainable Development is mainstreamed and operationalized in the policies, plans, curriculum/courses, programs and projects of the University, the RCEGM activities are coordinated and implemented by the member institutions, organisations and CBOs, Participation of staff and students in community engagement activities, Coordination of the students internships and exchange programs