First quarter report: AMU hails achievements; pulls up ‘non-performers’

Arba Minch University higher authority convened at Lecture Theatre on November 30, 2013, to take the stock of the situation of the first quarter, perused the report amid the presence of Deans, Directors and heads of the respective departments from across all campuses.

Strategic Planning, Evaluation and implementation Directorate’s Director, Mr Abiot Tsegaye Kibret, presented the report. University President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes, while chairing the meet hailed the achievements and admonished individuals manning the departments which couldn’t perform as expected.

Academic year 2006 EC (2013-14) seem to have ushered in good tidings, as this year university is hosting 24,288 students (regular: 16907, continuing and distance education: 6514 and 867 PG students) across its five colleges, an Institute and a school.

AMU’s first degree programs grew from 40 to 43 and Post-Graduate program also went up from 25 to 35; and for the first time in the history of university, a PhD has also been launched this year in irrigation and drainage engineering.

The quantum leap taken in this year’s enrolment compared to the last year (18,100), AMU has registered satisfactory results in academics. Administrative and HRM departments were also found on the right track.

At the outset, Research and Community Service was hailed for giving 32 scholarships (5 for Masters and 27 first degrees) to the students selected from Gamo Gofa Zone, Segen People’s Zone and South Omo zone to build the capacity of government employees of those areas.

Mr Abiot, says, ‘‘Lack of orchestrated communication amongst university community is the basic reason that causes untold problems. Specially, communication gap between Research Directorate and Finance & Budget Directorate could be the reasons for its non-performance.’’

The poor transportation facilities due to dearth of required vehicles in the university have been causing acute problems to our 3500 employees. Last year AMU had to discard 38 vehicles which were obsolete, but the government hasn’t replaced them with new one as promised. However, AMU is still waiting to get those promised vehicles; ferrying our staff four times in a day with the available 15 vehicles is absolutely cumbersome and difficult task.

Citing another problem, Mr Abiot says, university hasn’t been able to make available offices to some teachers; lounge and cafeteria to other campuses as contractors couldn’t complete the constructions on time as per the contractual basis; it may take few more months.

AMU also needs more teachers in Mechanical, Civil engineering and Medicine stream. Administrative and support area said to have had tremendous knowledge deficit due to paucity of educated manpower.

To offset this deficit, AMU is committed to help 210 teachers in upgrading their educational level from Masters to PhD programs; and 310 administrative staff in different programs like adult education to higher education to Masters.

‘‘On national level, university has collaborated with Ethiopian Road Authority, Electric Power authority, Institute of Bio-diversity, Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and others. Above agreements will help train their staff and get placed to gain knowledge from their respective cites and to get region’s flora and fauna rejuvenated by cultivating medicinal parks and other related common benefits.

Signing MoUs with Technical University of Munich, Germany and Teagasc, Ireland has been a feather in its cap. Likewise, ties with Chinese and Japanese Education Institutes are also on the cards.’’

With Ministry of Education choosing AMU’s Information and Communication Technology Directorate apart from Jimma University to train Wolkite, Wachemo, Medawolabu, Dilla and Bule Hora universities in IT field, has been a proud moment.

In the first quarter, having reached a mutual understanding with students to maintain the secular academic environment, university has dismantled mosque and church from its precincts. AMU has reached an understanding with the students to refrain from activities entailing religious intolerance.

By Philips Joseph