The dream became a reality!!!
Friday, March 17, 2017 will be remembered as the day of joy and celebration for the United Methodist Church in Mozambique, when hundreds mingled at “KaMukhambe, Bodini” (Cambine Boarding Mission), to witness the inauguration of the first Methodist Higher Education Institution. The dream that became true after 126 years of Methodism in the country, where church leaders have been preaching through acts of service and words.
The United Methodist Church in Mozambique has since then been involved in teachings in religion, health and education. A dozen primary and secondary schools, Seminaries and hospitals were erected throughout the country, and have nurtured thousands of people and equipped them with moral and ethical values to serve and develop the country.
The Governor of Inhambane Province, Daniel Tchapo was the guest of honor who among other dignitaries officiated the opening of the University. Tchapo cut the ribbon sided by Bishop Joaquina Filipe Nhanala, the retired Bishop Joao Somane Machado, guests from the Methodist University of Angola, the University Board members and the crowd comprising of District Superintendents, Pastors, lay people, Mission students and Morrumbene district population.
A beautiful choir from Cambine Seminary students presented songs of praise for the occasion. Invited to use the podium, Bishop Nhanala thanked God for this blessing and highlighted that the Methodist Church has been for many years a partner in the area of Education. She pointed out that there are lessons to learn from effects of cyclone and other humanitarian challenges including poverty, and therefore, Cambine will be the center of production and development of attitudes and dissemination of knowledge to confront all challenges of humankind.
The Methodist University is aspiring for emancipation and self-determination of students, aiming for excellency in education and health sector. Nhanala pointed out that Cambine has nurtured church, society and government leaders, one of which helped in the struggle for the liberation of the country and considered the architect of national unity- Dr. Eduardo Mondlane.
She warned University students and staff to excel well in all aspects of their academic exposure, and training should be focused in areas of ethics, moral and cultural values. In her closing remarks, Bishop Nhanala mentioned that the University should serve all, irrespective of race, orientation and religion; achieving knowledge beyond limits of research.
The Governor of Inhambane Province, Daniel Tchapo’ speech in his turn pointed Cambine as a center of knowledge, religion and ethics and that there is no doubt this University will be different from other institutions in many ways. He highlighted that like many prospering Universities created by Christians, this Institution will be unique. He called for professionalism in both staff and students, and that both should plant good attitudes, behavior and represent true change agents. The Governor added that it is high time we need to recover moral and ethical values the country has already lost particularly for the youth group. We are harvesting what we planted- he said, and the University should embrace this cause, introducing to the students board, scientific, technical, and religious knowledge. In his closing remarks, the Governor advised University authorities to introduce a debate on secular education for the benefit of the State and the society and that students trained at this University must have a seal of the uniqueness in excellency, promptness and high quality education from a Methodist University.
“The UMUM- Participating in the Education of Citizenship”
A public lecture was delivered by Rev Dr Jamisse Taimo, a Methodist born in Cambine. Jamisse sang “Hi Katekile” (we are blessed) song, giving thanks to God for a reality come true from a long journey in the thinking, hard-working moments for the establishment of the University. This is the University we want- he said, and outlined the openness of this institution where various issues of the country will be dealt about. He invited students for “dissertation” on issues of interest for country’s social, cultural and economic development. Jamisse quoted scholars who stated that “freedom of one ends where freedom of another one starts”, reinforcing the need for students to deliver their knowledge in the service of other human kind. He indicated some aspects of citizenship and referred to the challenges, where staff and students are asked to constantly develop competences, as an item which is part of the vision and mission of the United Methodist Church in Mozambique; students capable of mobilizing, activating and knowing how to do things and to support others in order to solve day-to-day problems.
Jamisse went deep by requiring that research be developed by both students and lecturers to help them know how to better serve communities in areas of administration, communication, health, to name but a few. Students are called to listen and respect other peoples’ ideas; pass-on-the-gift of knowledge to communities alike; lecturers that introduce dialogue as reference with their students even outside classes.
Jamisse finally told the crowd and student community that learning and teaching process will need participation of all including parents, and through this interaction the Methodist University will be in mutual process of strengthening education of citizenship and participating together in country’s social and economic development.
The UMUM will offer opportunities for training national students complementing the existing capacities of public and private education; will struggle for excellency through deliberate system of quality control of delivered services and products; will capitalize valences of the United Methodist Church in social sciences and humanities; and contribute for global effort in the struggle against poverty through social equity policies in access of learning and training.
Nearly 70 students have given birth to this University and are enrolled in the following faculties: Social Sciences and Humanities; Sciences of Education; Sciences of Administration and Management; Religious Sciences and Computer Engineering and Technologies. Classes have already commenced this past Monday, March 20, and the initial classes were delivered by Dr Azevedo Nhantumbo and Rev Dr Julio Vilanculos.
There are still challenges in the restoration of infrastructures in the Mission and also in equipping the library and laboratory; in the edification of more classrooms and establishment of halls of residences for students and staff. Prayers and support needed!