Thursday May 22 2014

Gulu varsity students strike over exams delay

Fire burns some of the chairs that students destroyed protesting

Fire burns some of the chairs that students destroyed protesting refusal by lecturers to give them exams on Tuesday. The lecturers were striking over delayed pay of allowances by the administration. PHOTO BY JULIUS OCUNGI 

By Julius Ocungi

Gulu- Students at Gulu University on Tuesday went on strike protesting failure by the university administration to clear unpaid lecturers’ allowances so that they could administer exams.

Police fired teargas in a bid to restore order at the campus that had turned chaotic causing destruction of some university properties.

The lecturers had earlier gone on strike over delayed pay hence the failure of students to sit end of semester examinations which were due on Monday.

Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the university spokesperson, Mr Mahmud Khalid, condemned the strike, adding that the University management had reached an agreement with the striking lecturers.
“We were assured by the lecturers, through their Association Gulu University Academic Staff Association, that they would give students exams despite not receiving their allowances.

Unfortunately, they did not honour their word causing the students to strike,” Mr Khalid said.

“All the cheques have been signed by the University Secretary and approved for payment. We expect them to be paid soon so that students sit for their exams,” Mr Khalid added.

Mr Khalid asked the lecturers to honour the agreed talks and give students the exams, adding that the strikes would do more harm than good to both the university and students.

The guild students’ representative, Mr Siraje Semwanga, however, blamed the university administration for the strikes saying what has happened could have been prevented.

“These lecturers have not been paid their extra load allowances since November last year yet students have been paying their tuition. Where could all that amount of money have gone?” Mr Ssemwanga asked.