Letter from Provost, March 2010
Dear friends of SEKUCo,
The Technical Evaluation Committee will come to visit us on 29th March, work on 30th and 31st March and leave on 1st April. Meanwhile, we continue to cooperate with a number of professors and lecturers in building up SEKUCo. Most of these are volunteers. Currently we have 3 professors from the International Association of Special Education (IASE), coming from Canada and US. They go very well with our students and staff. With the right amount of sense of humor, they cope with electricity cuts, very slow or no internet connectivity and too small classrooms.
Ms. Ulla Peltola is back again. This is her 3rd visit to SEKUCo and she is teaching Sign Language 2 and Clinical Methods of Assessment of the Hearing Impaired.
In April we will receive Emmy Csocsan, Solveig Sjoestedt, Bodo Frank and Kurt Klee from Europe. Kurt will be coming for his first time and he will teach our 3rd year students on Orientation and Mobility. Some of the volunteers pay for their air ticket costs while some are refunded. The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) and Swedish Evangelical Mission (SEM) have supported us with such costs.
On 8th March 2010, we received pastors Sybille and Friedrich Martiny, the first long-term co-workers at SEKUCo, They have been sent by the United Evangelical Mission in Germany and will stay for 3 years to start with. Their main responsibility will be to begin the Directorate of Diakonia Studies.
On 28th March we will receive a senior lecturer from India who will teach our Law students. We have already received Mr. Mambo, a very energetic young man from Dar es Salaam, as an Assistant Lecturer in the same faculty.
We have been purchasing equipment for the Special Needs Education resource center. Two weeks ago we succeeded to buy a number of basic equipment for Hearing Impairment courses. We now have two audiometers and the needed equipment for testing hearing capacity and making ear molds. We intend to invite the community around us to come and test their hearing capacity. While people get this service, our students are getting training on how to take the tests; a win-win situation. We are very happy about this. Last year, Ulla Peltola and the students had to travel to Mwanga School for the Deaf to do the course of Clinical Methods of Assessment of the Hearing Impaired since we didn’t have our own equipment.
The Swedish Evangelical Mission has promised to fund equipment for a Visual Impairment laboratory. Michael Jones, one of the IASE volunteers, went to Nairobi yesterday together with our bursar Geoffrey Kingazi in order to purchase equipment for Visual Impairment courses and visually impaired students. During the weekend we will install the software in all computers at Campus B which means next week the blind students can start learning how to use computers!
We are also making some progress with research projects. Since last year, SEKUCo has been in contact with an institute of solar technology in Rapperswil, Switzerland. We have a Cooperation Agreement and now they have sent three representatives to be here for a week. During this time they have installed devices near the cafeteria at Campus B which will pasteurize water using solar energy. This device has been brought from Switzerland and the tests will be made under the supervision of regional and district water authorities.
We have received the first exchange student, Cecile Guillet. She is coming from the University of Giessen with whom we have a Cooperation Agreement. Cecile is studying Geography and some courses related to Eco-tourism within the Faculty of Science.
We are also trying to improve our infrastructure. Any one who has been to SEKUCo and tried to use internet might have been frustrated about the slowness of the internet connectivity. On 29th March 2010 the work of laying Fibre Optic Cable from Lushoto to Magamba will begin. It means that God willing, we will be telling different stories about internet connectivity before ending this semester. The contractor has already been to SEKUCo for sight surveying. Funds for the Fibre Optic Cable have been received from the Evangelical Church of Hesse and Nassau in Germany, the South Eastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) in USA, Brian Gustafson’s family and other friends in the USA.
We have secured a soft loan of Tshs. 160m. from Tanzania Education Authority which will facilitate the completion of the renovation work of Campus B. The contractor appointed by SEKUCo and approved by TEA has now started to work and plans to be through after 8 weeks.
Two sports grounds for basket and volleyball are being constructed. The dispensary has been renovated and re-arranged. We are strengthening the roads of Campus A and completing the pathways for wheelchair users which were constructed with funds from Degernäs congregation in Sweden.
Currently the situation of water is stable due to us being connected to Kibohelo river water supply. We were able to connect to Kibohelo river thanks to funds from the congregation of Holy Trinity in SEPA.
We have a challenge to tackle. As we end this year, we are releasing our first 135 graduates. We will then receive new students and the number will take the total enrolment to above 1000 students. Our lecture rooms will not be enough and we need to build at least one large lecture hall. Also, the library which can take 140 people in one sitting is too small. The UEM has agreed to fund the construction of 3 new hostels for female students and those with disabilities.
On 5th March 2010 we received the Head of Prime Minister’s office in Lower Saxony, Dr. Hagebolling, and his delegation. They were accompanied by Ulrike Luedtke, professor from Hannover University who started the department of Speech and Language disorders at SEKUCo in October 2009. The visit was very successful and for the future we look forward to fruitful cooperation with Lower Saxony government in general and Hannover University in particular. In July this year, one of our Tutorial Assistants, Afizai Vuliva, will go to Germany in order to begin studies in Speech and Language disorders at Hannover University.
On behalf of the whole SEKUCo community, I wish to thank all of you for the support you continue to offer us in building up this university college.
MANY THANKS! ASANTENI SANA!
Yours in Christ,
Last Updated (Wednesday, 18 May 2011 13:50)