PIASS-7th Graduation Ceremony
Quality Research and Education, Climate Change Adaptation and Service to Community Hailed during PIASS 7th Graduation Ceremony
On June 18, 2021, for the 7th time, the Protestant University of Rwanda (PIASS) successfully organized a graduation ceremony. The two hours ceremony combined two models of participation, the face to face on its main Campus, Huye, Southern Province; whilst at its Karongi Campus, Western Province and on a third site, in Kigali, participants attended virtually. 430 graduates received their BA degree in many different disciplines (theology, Education and Development studies) and programs. The Faculty of Education awarded 67 BA degree in Geography, 21 in Mathematics, 2 in history, 102 in business studies, 61 in English; 32 in Kinyarwanda; 2 in Education planning and management and 42 in Post graduate diploma. The faculty of development studies awarded 47 degrees in Rural and community development; 26 in Environment and Natural resources management; 18 degrees in Peace and Conflict Management and Development. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies awarded 10 degrees in total.
The ceremony was attended from the government side, by the representative of the Minister of Education, Mr Pascal Gatabazi, guest of honour; the Mayor of Huye District, Mr Sebutege, and many other officials. On PIASS founding membership and government bodies side, the chancellor, Rev. Dr Andre Karamaga conferred the degrees; the Rt Rev. Jered Kalimba, Vice chairperson of the university Council and Deputy legal representative constituted the congregation and dissolved it at the end of the ceremony. Other guests included head of founding members, Rev. Dr Pascal Bataringaye, president of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda and deputy legal representative of PIASS, Rt Rev Augustin Mvunabandi (rtd Anglican bishop of Kigeme], a Council member among others. On PIASS administration side, the vice chancellor, Rev. Prof Elisee Musemakweli presided the ceremony from the main campus, in Huye assisted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Penine Uwimbabazi who led the presentation of the graduation lists. Staff, graduates and students attended in both Huye and Karongi campuses. Rev. Dr Viateur Habarurema, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, and Ms Jacqueline Muhawenayo, lecturer in the Faculty of Education mastered beautifully the ceremony completing each other and providing briefing to participants in both languages, English and Kinyarwanda.
Vice Chancellor of PIASS, Rev.Prof. Elisée Musemakweli addressing the participants
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Rev.Prof. Elisee Musemakweli reminded of the double meaning of the ceremony, for the graduates and for PIASS, emphasizing its collaborative character [teaching and research for staff- students, PIASS and partners, in public and private sectors, nationally and internationally]. PIASS, he said, is committed to quality teaching, scientific research and community services, constantly improving curricula and services, organizing students’ exposure within and outside the country. He announced a new faculty opening soon in architecture and green technologies to meet the needs of Rwandan society. Addressing the graduates, he told them: “today you are ending an era of your studies, but you are moving to a new one to assume new responsibilities toward our society in whatever capacity and job opportunity available”.
Guest of Honour, Pascal Gatabazi addressing the participants
Addressing the congregations on behalf of the Minister of Education, the Guest of Honour, Pascal Gatabazi, reminded that quality education and innovation are at the heart of the government of Rwanda socio-economic development strategy. He hailed PIASS for being among private High learning institutions that provide quality education. He expressed the Minister’s gratitude to PIASS for : a. graduating 430 students; b. contributing to quality education through its scientific research activities and services to community; c. improving constantly the services to meet the needs of community; c. of quality services he gave examples of programs like conflict management and transformation, and the forthcoming faculty of architecture and green technologies constructed on carbon free emission, a sign of effort to adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Addressing the graduates, Pascal Gatabazi told them: “today you are ending one level of your active life, to begin another level of service to your country. You have been equipped by PIASS through national and international exchange programs, and those who want to pursue farther studies would find out that more opportunities are available at Master and PhD degree levels, including at PIASS.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Ms Denyse Mukantwari thanked PIASS for offering not only quality education but values, Christian values in particular, research skills and knowledge in prime. Mukantwari thanked PIASS to offering exposure in learning and research activities, nationally and internationally. From her personal feeling she expressed gratitude for being allowed to presented a paper during the PIASS Scientific Week now pending for publication. She invited the graduates to be irreproachable models in serving society.
As usually, PIASS rewarded the best performing graduates; Jean Claude Mugabowindekwe of the faculty of Education, a student in Karongi campus was awarded a laptop whilst Chantal Uwizeyimana, in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Denyse Mukantwari in the faculty of Development studies, and Jerome Ntawukuriryayo, in the Faculty of Education, Business studies were awardee each, PIASS Medal of Best Graduate Achiever.
During this two-hour ceremony meticulously organized, guiding instructions against COVID-19 pandemic were carefully observed, through face covering, social distancing, hand sanitization, but also through constant reminders to participants in messages and advices constantly and politely given by the two able masters of the ceremony. Constituted at 9.00, by 11.30 the ceremony was dissolved by the Rt Rev. Jered Kalimba.
Students during graduation ceremony