10 January 2013

Tanzania: KIU Lecturers 'Hijack' Test Results

Photo: Th Monitor
KIU opens Sh11 Billion facility in Bukoto (file photo): Lecturers in the university's branch in Dar es Salaam have refused to release test results for students.

THE long-standing conflict at the Dar es Salaam campus of the Kampala International University (KIU) was exacerbated yesterday as lecturers who were sacked for allegedly being unqualified refused to release test paper results and course work averages.

A number of lecturers interviewed said they would not release the results until the administration apologised for 'disgracing' them. The administration allegedly announced publicly that they were not qualified for employment as lecturers.

"The results will be released only if management publicly apologises and admit that they deceived the public by saying that we are not qualified," said John Toto, one of the sacked lecturers.

He added: "If the management maintains that we (lecturers) are not qualified after serving for more than two years, how come they are now demanding test paper results and course work from unqualified lecturers. This is absolutely unfair".

"The administration should therefore recall all students trained under our supervision to give them proper education materials from lecturers considered more qualified. This is quite ridiculous," said another lecturer who preferred anonymity.

She alleged that the management plans to issue test results and course work averages based on guesswork. If this is done, the matter will have to be taken to higher academic bodies to question the legitimacy of the move," she remarked.

Since October last year, the university has experienced a series of class boycotts by students and lecturers who have been demanding for improved learning and working conditions respectively.

Members of the teaching staff have complained about delayed payment of salaries while students, among other demands, want a consistence in teaching courses away from frequent interferences in the middle of academic semesters.

The latest development at the university was the suspension of more than 19 students who took the courage to speak out the challenges the institution faced on behalf of fellow students. Just before Christmas, students took to the streets pressing for immediate reinstatements of lecturers whom they said were comfortable with their academic levels.

Delayed payment of salaries for October and November (2012) seem to have triggered a chain of events that have also disrupted the normal teaching routine. Students, parents, lecturers and several members of the university's administration interviewed each had a different version on possible solution to problems the institution faced.

Students Raymond Kosyanga and Zubeda Hemed said they wanted the administration to be explicit on compensation for lost lectures, which has affected the learning process and, possibly, the examination status as well.

A parent, Mr Petro Mesula, expressed disappointment at the university's premises in the city yesterday over "endless squabbles at KIU despite the colossal amount of cash we pay as tuition fees".

Hundreds of students took to the streets recently, pressing for an audience with the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, to seek his intervention on their plight. High ranking officials at the Prime Minister's Office reportedly took time to listen to their demands and pledged serious intervention soon.

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