Our Chief Guest, the First Lady, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, the Minister of Education and Sports, the main Celebrant, Rt. Reverend Joseph Anthony Zziwa, the Bishop of Mityana Diocese and Chairman of the Episcopal Conference, and all our invited guests in your respective capacities, ladies and gentlemen. I am privileged to welcome you all to our 28th Graduation Ceremony in which we are passing out seven hundred and fifty seven (757) graduands. Of these 371 are nurses, 252 are midwives and 134 are laboratory Assistants and Technicians.
As we celebrate the success of our graduands this year, we remember with gratitude the great work of Mother Mary Kevin and her team who founded Nsambya Hospital and its Training school in 1903 and 1921 respectively. So you can notice that the school has cloaked 100 years of existence. I am gratified by Mother Kevin’s vision to develop human resource for health. This would especially help in the care of mothers and ensure their safe deliveries and subsequent infant care. The pioneers were six, (6) Ugandan girls who braved the certificate midwifery course in 1921.
During the course of the years, other courses came on board to solve the staffing needs of the Nsambya Hospital are the courses Nsambya has offered over the years:
|Certificate in Nursing||1931|
|Certificate in Laboratory Techniques||1946|
|Diploma in Nursing (extension)||1974|
|Diploma in Laboratory Extension)||1984|
|Diploma in Midwifery (extension)||1972|
|Diploma in Nursing (Direct )||1972|
|Diploma In Midwifery (Direct )||2006|
|Diploma in Clinical Mentoring||2011|
|Diploma in Midwifery e-Learning||2012|
Graduation is an annual event at this school and since its inception over tens of thousands students have graduated in this institution. However, it was not possible to organize this function last year as the circumstances resulting from Covid 19 infection could not permit us. Even now, the existing Covid SOPs cannot allow all the graduands to be here, which is a great inconvenience and disappointment to many.
We have therefore only invited fifty-seven (57) graduands together with their parents to represent the rest at this occasion. The invited graduands in attendance are those who excelled in Academics, in Practical skills and Discipline. It is school’s culture to award students who excel in those areas to encourage others to work hard for the same. I therefore congratulate them for setting a good example to others and urge them to keep doing the right thing all the time.
The school has a five years’ Strategic plan which run from 2016-2021 under the following:
To train the best health care staff of high moral and professional standard with positive attitudes and evidence based practice that reflect Catholic Values.
An Internationally reputable health training institution.
- Commitment to Catholic / Christian values
- Mutual respect
Our Chief Guest, behind the success of our graduands, there is a strong team of staff to whom I am highly indebted for their dedication. Currently there is a team of thirteen (13) qualified tutors, fourteen (14) clinical instructors/clinical mentors. In addition we have several lecturers /assistant lecturers for the bachelor programs, and thirty four (34) support staff.
Governance and management of the School
The school is governed by following :
- The School Governing Council
This is responsible for setting the strategies and the policies of the school. The Council Chairperson is Mrs. Speciosa Mhabali.
- The Joint Education Committee (JEC)
This committee reports to the School Governing Council on all matters pertaining to the school. It is chaired by the Senior Principal Nursing Officer Ms. Dora Namirembe.
Impact Of Covid 19 To The School
Our Chief Guest, I thank you for what Ministry of Education and Sports is doing towards the prevention of Covid 19, especially the guidelines followed before school re-opening and during the entire stay of learners.
The school management has followed these guidelines quite closely since the first lock down in March 2020. In addition, the school staff following the advice and guidance of the Ministry of Education and Sports (NCHE), was able to reach the students virtually, to continue guiding, teaching and counselling them during the six (6) months or so of the first lockdown.
Even when the school re-opened, our students returned safely, and the semester exams were conducted safely, and these are the graduates whose perseverance we celebrate. It was not easy adapting the New Normal of masking, social distancing and being confined at school. I thank the graduands for their cooperation, which made it possible for all of us to reach the end successfully. I wish to report, that we achieved a 98% pass rate and our school was one of the best schools in the recent examinations of December 2020 and March 2021.
This was a great effort by all players. Although we survived the first wave of the Covid infection of 2020, during the second wave, some of our students were affected but with little effect as the school was able to contain the infection by strict isolation and rigorous treatment of the victims and their contacts. I thank the Task force, the medics and all those who assisted our students during that trying time. I thank God that non of our affected students required to be admitted for serious treatment regimens.
The long stay at home during the first lockdown did not leave us the same. A few students dropped out of school due to one reason or other, most probably, they lost interest in the course. Our attempt to bring them back yielded no positive results. We hope they are happy where they are.
Although school management tried to organise online classes for the students, it was realized that not all students can access this mode of teaching /learning. To some students, the network was not accessible and others had no required gadgets/phones or could not get data to keep them connected to the school programs. This is still a big challenge even as we appreciate online teaching in the New Normal.
Message to Parents
Although graduation is an annual event in this school, each year we get different parents to celebrate the achievements of their sons and daughters. Today I congratulate you parents for investing in your children and ensuring a better future for them. It is unfortunate that we cannot all be here to celebrate this achievement due to the Covid 19 SOPs, but wherever you are, feel part of this memorable day.
Thank you for braving the hardships of Covid 19, and funding your children’s education. It has not been easy break through this economic crisis amidst the Covid lockdown. But God has helped us go through this turbulent times. I thank you for standing strong. Since education is the master key to most doors leading to good life experiences, we thank you for providing the best gift to your children.
I thank you for choosing Nsambva to shape and train your sons and daughters. You will have no regrets.
Message to Graduands
I congratulate you on your success in the various fields you have undertaken. You have made your parents and all of us proud. As you enter the world of work, aim at offering the best care to meet the clients’ expectations. I want to share with you what I heard from a famous television producer and actress, Oprah Winfrey, at a graduation ceremony like this one, she told the graduands, three things:
- Know who you are and what you want to be in life
- Find a way to serve, as a way to give back to community
- Always do the right thing, let excellence be your brand
This is summarized as” be the best version of yourself”
I also urge you to maintain your professional ethics, uphold them, remembering that you have been called “to love and serve”. May we continue following in the footsteps of Mother Kevin and keep the flag flying. More so, aim at furthering your education in order to remain relevant.
The school is marking 100 years of existence in which a lot has been achieved namely; new programs, like the Bachelor programs in Nursing and Midwifery courses, Trained over thousands of students in the various courses.
The school has trained its staff and will continue doing so as it expands its horizons to achieve greater heights. The school has put in place a four storied structure from its small savings. This structure houses a skills laboratory, classes, offices and a library.
The school has continued to maintain a high academic standard, for example, in the past year examination the school registered 98% pass rate for nurses, midwives and laboratory trainees. The school has continued to be accredited as an examination Centre by the Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Examination Board (UNMEB), Uganda Allied Health Examination Board (UAHEB) the UCMB (Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau) and the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Inadequate transport for the students who need to undergo training outside school campus making outside training complex. Although the school has a few vehicles, they are small and requires us to organize several journeys which is quite expensive and time consuming.
Lobby for funds to buy a school bus to aid in transporting students to their practicum areas Train more tutors in preparations for new health service provisions in the Hospital like Cancer care. Begin Bachelor’s degree course in Laboratory studies and Oncology diploma and degree programs to promote career development of our graduates and train the so needed staff for the cancer care.
Dear our Chief Guest I am very grateful that you honored our invitation. My gratitude is equally extended to the government for all the wonderful support and collaboration we enjoy as Nsambya. I pray that this collaboration continues to enhance the development of this institution and indeed the whole nation. May God bless you.
To the Main Celebrant, thank you for blessing this occasion with the Holy sacrifice of Mass and the beautiful words you gave to our graduands.
The work of training students is not done by only school staff, but by a number of players both in our hospital and elsewhere, where the students go for their practicum and community experiences. My gratitude is extended to all the stakeholders involved in this training especially doctors, ward staff and all health workers from Nsambya Hospital, Mulago National Referral Hospital, China Uganda Friendship Hospital, Butabika Hospital and KCCA units where we take our students for specialized and community experiences. We are grateful for the good working relationship we have with all these stakeholders.
Equally, our gratitude is extended to Ministry of Education and Sports, MOH, and the Medical Bureaus, the Professional Councils, Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Examination Board (UNMEB) and Uganda Allied Health Examination Board (UAHEB), UNFPA, and AMREF for their support and guidance and indeed all the stakeholders involved in training.
In addition, we are grateful for the support we get from the various sponsors like: Anna Poot Foundation in the Netherlands who support needy students and enable them complete their courses. The Gretta Foundation from USA, who have for years supported students financially. African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC), which funds some religious students, Statehouse, which has sponsored a number of students at the training school, Ministry of Health, which supports individuals with tuition.
Last but not least, my appreciation is extended to the members of the Board of Governors of Nsambya Hospital, the School Governing Council, the members of the Management Team of Nsambya Hospital for the continued support and guidance, the ward staff for training and guiding students, My colleagues in the training school for preparing these graduands for their future and the joint effort in organizing this function. And to you all who have supported us in one way or the other, we are indeed very grateful. My greatest tribute is to the founder of this great institution Mother Mary Kevin.
I thank God for her vision and all what has been accomplished in the last 100 years. I thank all my predecessors and the team I work with to move forward this great institution
To all of you our esteemed visitors, you are warmly welcome, feel at home, and may God bless you now; and as you journey home. For God and my Country.
SR. STELLA JOSEPHINE NAMATOVU