Makerere University must be run as a public not a private institution
Posted Monday, February 25 2013 at 02:00
The policy was passed in 2005 and has never been implemented, why must it be implemented now? How has the university been running for the past six years?
Makerere University prides of the topmost brains in the country. Sadly, the institution has not used the brains it has to solve simple problems. While I don’t condone vandalising people’s property by students, I squarely blame the university administration, including the University Council, for all the mess that has for so many years characterised this prestigious institution of learning. They wrongly seek for solutions to the institution’s problem from the parents and the students instead of the government.
I refuse to believe that any sane student should keep quiet as the institution blocks the sons and daughters of peasants from accessing university education. Makerere University has been privatised! This is why the university looks at private students as the major source of funds to run a supposed-to-be public institution!
I wonder why vice chancellor Prof John Ssentamu Ddumba cannot stand for and with the underprivileged students and parents. I wonder why the University Council cannot be a voice of the students. I am terribly disappointed that the university has continuously been sanctioned to pass policies aimed at blocking the poor from accessing university education!
While section 2 of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act states clearly that a public university must be run by public funds, Makerere University administration wants the public institution to be run by poor parents and poor students! I am saddened that the disciplinary committee could dismiss students who participated in the strike without addressing the root cause of the strike.
While the poor are being deprived of the right to education , more than 10,000 NGOs including human rights NGOs, which purport to speak for the voiceless and work for the down-trodden, are silent. Virtually, all the workers in NGOs earn fat salaries and will never have their children or siblings denied access to education on account of failure to raise funds.
Prof Ddumba and the University Council must put pressure the government to remit adequate funds to the university and expedite the students’ loan scheme. Any attempt to burden the poor parents and students must be vehemently opposed. In 2009 we kept silent as tuition fees were raised to the tune of 126 per cent, should we keep silent as this heartless policy is implemented?
I have a question: the policy was passed in 2005 and has never been implemented, why must it be implemented now? How has the university been running for the past six years?
Mr Nuwagaba is a human rights defender.