Lecturers turning into financial mercenaries - education boss

Prof Opuda Asibo (L) receives a gift from Mr William Mukaira, the owner of Valley University of Science and Technology (VUST) at the inauguration of the university in Bushenyi last Friday. PHOTO BY ZADOCK AMANYISA

BUSHENYI- National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) executive director Opuda Asibo has said Ugandan universities are running short of lecturers as many have turned into financial mercenaries and are no longer committed to their work.

He noted that many lecturers in different universities across the country are old and no longer commit themselves to work.
The educationist made the remarks last Friday while speaking at the inauguration ceremony for Valley University of Science and Technology (VUST) in Bushenyi.

“People are no longer committing themselves to teaching in universities. Many of them are old and just don’t mind while others are financial mercenaries who are not offering [any meaningful] service to these universities,” Prof Opuda said.

He called for the establishment of arrangements in which people can study up to the PhD level with government funding so as to have more lecturers in universities.

“You know it is government to agree and decide on how many people they should train each year. If you go to China, they decided to train 10,000 PhDs per year and that’s how they have managed.

There should be a government policy to train people for PhD programmes so that we can have more lecturers. Here people do it voluntarily and go for PhDs, which should at least be done by government. It’s a priority; in order to develop you must invest,” he said.

He asked university owners to ensure they are giving desirable skills and knowledge.

“You shouldn’t put up buildings and say you have a university. Nice buildings don’t make a university but the adaptive and desirable skills that you are going to provide considering the job market, relevance to community, students and nation. Sometimes conflict of interest must be done away with if you are to make a successful university,” he said.

The university chancellor, Mr James Garuga Musinguzi, asked Bushenyi community and Ugandans to have a culture of helping the underprivileged.

He hailed Mr William Mukaira, the owner and chairman board of trustees, for sacrificing to provide education to Ugandans.