Muhanga — The Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Muligande, on Friday, conferred bachelor's degrees to 518 graduates from the Catholic Institute of Kabgayi (ICK) in Muhanga District.
This was the first graduation ceremony since the establishment of the institute in 2002. The university recently received the accreditation to confer bachelor's degrees. The students, were mainly from the faculties of Journalism and Communication Studies, Sciences of Development, Social Economic Sciences and Management.
The Bishop of Kabgayi, Smargade Mbonyintege, who is also the ICK chancellor, said that the moment was a historical and fulfilling for the church. Mbonyintege also awarded a scholarship and a laptop to Marie Thérèse Mukakarangwa, who emerged the overall best students, after passing with a grand distinction in Management.
Murigande hailed the Catholic Church for the efforts in promoting education and said the institute has had an impact on the community. He asked the diocese to put more efforts in developing the institute's capacity to be able to attain higher standards of education through practical skills and research as a way of bridging the skills gap in the country.
Murigande encouraged the students to embrace discipline, integrity and commitment to hard work as a way of steering the country towards development.
"These honours are just an indication of completion of studies and not an indication of knowing everything. The journey of learning should continue and you need to have the courage to learn and seek knowledge through humility and interest in learning from others," he said.
He also asked the ICK alumni to be true ambassadors of the institute and help it to develop and improve its capacity and facilities. ICK Rector, Fr. Vincent Kagabo, said that the aim of establishing the institute was to build a new generation, based on Christian values and community development, through education.
He revealed that the students' enrolment has grown from 311 to 1210 students by 2010, adding that the institute has established a partnerships with local, regional and international institutions as a way of expanding the knowledge base of students.
"Our plan is to lay a firm foundation of education and provide better participative education methodology, improve the English language skills and grooming responsible citizens of our nation," the rector said.
On behalf of the graduating students, Domitille Mukankubana, hailed the government for recognizing the institute by confirming their degrees and said that the group will play a major role in educating the community.
The colorful ceremony was also attended by top government and Church officials, local and international academics and scores of residents.