12 February 2013

Uganda: Professor Clarifies On Policy That Led to Student Strike

Photo: Newvision
Striking Makerere students at Wandegeya Police Station.

Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu has clarified on the policy Makerere University adopted that has led to students striking.

In a press report that was released a day after the students strike, it says a section of the University students demonstrated on Feb. 11 over the implementation of the policy on payment of tuition fees for semester Two of the 2012/2013 Academic Year.

He said this Policy was approved in the 2006/2007 Academic Year and stipulates four key issues that include: Firstly, tuition and other University fees are due on the first day of the semester, secondly, in case a student fails to raise enough money to pay a full semester load, he/she can choose courses within the first six weeks and make payment for the course load he/she can afford and get registered while the third one says the minimum course loads to be permitted under this arrangement shall be 60% of the total credit units for that semester and then lastly only paid up and registered students will be allowed to use University facilities and attend Lectures, do course works and sit for final examinations.

Prof Ddumba says the School of Law and the College of computing and Information Sciences were the only Academic Units implementing this policy adding that the students from these Units raised concerns over the why the policy was not being implemented in all other Academic Units of the University.

The Vice Chancellor adds that on the request of Students Leaders, several members of the University Management Team met the GRC (Students Parliament) in October 2012 at the Pharmacy Building, and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the Tuition Payment Policy.

The Student leadership proposed that they be allowed to pay fees before the beginning of the semester one examinations as an interim measure.

As a result of the above request, it was finally agreed that the deadline for payment of fees for Semester One be Friday 16th November, 2012 and that beginning Semester Two of the 2012/2013 Academic Year, fees must be paid by the end of the 6th week of each Semester.

A circular dated November, 2 2012 was sent to all members of staff and students of Makerere University.

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