University of the Sacred Heart Gulu (USHG) officially reopened for final year students in october after almost 7 months of closure. It should be recalled that the president of Uganda had on March 18th, 2020 ordered the closure of all schools and institutions of learning in Uganda in a bid to minimize the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. The government however decided to reopen schools for candidate classes in primary and secondary schools, and finalists in tertiary institutions like colleges and universities on October 15th.
University of the Sacred Heart Gulu’s final year students of the Bachelor of Information Systems (BIS) and Bachelor of Counseling Psychology (BCP) programs resumed their studies on 19th and 23rd October 2020 respectively. The reopening of the University follows an inspection by officials from the Ministry of Education through the National Council of Higher Education. The University is also strictly in observation of SOPs put in place by the Ministry of Health to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
The University has set up a COVID-19 University task force which works with guidance from the Gulu district COVID-19 task force. A COVID-19 isolation center that works closely with St. Mary’s hospital Lacor has also been established on campus to handle and suspected cases of the virus. Other standard operating procedures on campus include mandatory hand washing, wearing masks, temperature monitoring of all persons entering the campus, social distancing in offices, classrooms, and on the USHG compound, and the use of hand sanitizer. The University also uses various Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to create awareness about the virus to its immediate community. Additionally, through its Department for Community Outreach, the USHG continues to create awareness and engage the public through radio programming on radio Maria Gulu on ways to keep safe from COVID-19.
The University held an event at its campus where the University Chancellor and Archbishop of Gulu His Grace Dr. John Baptist Odama officially blessed the reopening of the University and the final year students. Speaking at this event, His Grace Dr. John Baptist Odama described the University of the Sacred Heart Gulu as “a work of God”. He commended the USHG community including the final year students, staff, management, and Governing Council for their great contribution and commitment towards the sustenance and development of the USHG. He also thanked all supporters of the USHG worldwide for their goodwill and efforts to keep the University up and running. The Archbishop encouraged and pledged his continued support towards the success of the University of the Sacred Heart Gulu. In his own words, he mentioned that “I hold this University in my heart” The Chancellor also made a call for the formation of a prayer group of intercessors to intercede in prayer for the success of the USHG.
The final year students are expected to complete their final exams on December 18th, 2020. University of the Sacred Heart Gulu is looking forward to the first graduation ceremony where the USHG Chancellor His Grace Dr. John Baptist Odama shall confer degrees to this second group of pioneer students.