Saturday August 23 2014

Museveni pledges Shs300b for university lecturers’ pay

Makerere University guild presidend Ivan Bwohe

Makerere University guild presidend Ivan Bwohe leads other students in a demonstration against the 10 per cent fees increment for Freshers at the university recently. PHOTO BY Abubaker Lubowa 


The government has resolved to increase the budgetary allocation for salaries of teaching staff in all public universities from the previous Shs180 billion to Shs300 billion with effect from next financial year.

President Museveni reportedly made the revelation on Thursday during a private meeting between him and Makerere University students’ leadership led by their Guild President Ivan Bwowe and the university administrators led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Ddumba-Sentamu.

The meeting was intended to address the controversial 10 per cent tuition increment policy that was passed by the university council early this year, prompting sporadic strikes at the country’s oldest university.

“The President ordered yesterday that the 10 per cent fees policy be suspended with immediate effect and those new students who had already paid all their tuition, including the increment, be refunded,” Mr Bwowe said during the guild press conference at Makerere University yesterday.
Mr Bwowe told journalists that the President said all private students in public universities would stop paying for salaries of the teaching staff in their universities but only for utilities like power and water.

University students have been contributing 40 per cent of the teaching staff’s salaries.
But when contacted, Prof Ddumba-Sentamu confirmed the resolutions but explained that the President did not suspend the 10 per cent tuition policy but pledged that government would pay the increment on behalf of the students.

“The President did not suspend the tuition policy because the university’s budget is not going to be affected. What has changed is that it is the government, not the students to pay the 10 per cent tuition increment,” Prof Ddumba-Sentamu said.
He also confirmed that students who had paid the 10 per cent increment would be compensated next semester but said the resolution only applies to this academic year and next semester could be a different case, depending on the situation.