BY ARTHUR WADERO
Researchers and professors in the field of humanities and social sciences have demanded that pronounced recognition and support is accorded to them like it is with their counterparts in the field of sciences.
According to the experts, they also heavily contribute to vital principles of society like communications, leadership and governance, research and other platforms that are key in development.
They made the call at Makerere University during a National Humanities Conference that was convened under the theme ‘Humanities and Humanistic Social sciences Scholarship for a New Era.’
In her keynote address, Prof Monica B Chibita, the Dean, Faculty of Journalism, Media and Communication at the Uganda Christian University (UCU), decried the declined support accorded to the research and academic programs in social sciences.
“Increasingly however evidence indicates that scholarship training and research funding have tended to flow away from the humanities and social sciences because their utility in the context of development needs is not immediately obvious,” Dr Chibita said.
She says it’s sad to see Humanity researchers are often taken as second class citizens or used to back up real research.
“Humanities have been very hard hit. Humanity researchers are often taken as second class citizens or used to back up real research with some community engagement often to meet donor requirements rather than deepen understanding in improving lives of communities,” she said.
Prof Chibita however attributes the minimal attention to humanities, to stereotypes, damaging attitudes and utterances from a section of politicians, changing job market and the growth of a knowledge-based economy that is defined in terms not favourable to humanities and social sciences.
She however tasked her colleagues in humanities to take the lead in advocating for change in the way society perceives them.
The event also witnessed the launch of the 42nd Volume of the Mawazo journal.
According to Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Academic Affairs at Makerere University, the Mawazo journal was started in 1967 to promote the spirit of Pan of Africanism among the citizenry since most states were emerging from the colonialism era.