Museveni concerned about quality of university education

Sunday November 06 2016
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President Museveni directed that Ms. Nakyambade, who is an Enrolled Nurse, should be given a job. File photo

President, Yoweri Museveni has expressed concern on the quality of graduates being churned out by universities and other institutions of higher learning in the country.

Museveni expressed his dissatisfaction in a speech read for him by Vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi at the 24th graduation ceremony of Islamic University in Uganda held on Saturday.
A total of 2,672 students graduated in different academic disciplines at Islamic University in Uganda main campus in Mbale.
Museveni noted that while access to higher education is no longer a challenge in the country, the quality of graduates is wanting.

Museveni said it is as a result of this, that government is focusing on vocational skills development to bridge the gap.
Museveni also expressed the need for more science and technology based programs, arguing that the 21st century is driven by unprecedented advances in science and technology as well as research and development.

READ:

Museveni closes Makerere University after days of turbulence

Wednesday November 02 2016

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KAMPALA- President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the immediate closure of Makerere University citing concerns over the safety of persons and property.

“I Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda has this 1st day of November 2016, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the Constitution and Section 26(2) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended, decided to close Makerere University with immediate effect,” reads a statement he issued on Tuesday.

Mr Museveni’s directive followed hours of turbulence at Uganda’s oldest university. On Tuesday, the students engaged police in

Makerere University closure looms as students join lecturers’ strike

Tuesday November 01 2016

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Makerere University students are striking following Monday’s general assembly of teaching staff which voted to continue with their sit-down strike until they are paid all the incentive arrears.

The students’ strike started at Lumumba Hall on Tuesday amid heavy police and military deployment inside the university.

The students want lecturers to resume teaching as they demand their incentive payments. The University Council, the highest decision making body at the institution is meeting to decide the next move.

The Monday general assembly which voted to continue with the strike was attended by the Council Chairperson Dr Charles Wana Etyem, the Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba Ssentamu and Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Prof Bernabas Nawangwe.

 “I want to appeal to you directly that in the interest of Makerere University…, unless the university is running, we are not going to solve these problems,” Dr Etyem said.

He had promised the lecturers that the university would pay their incentives for one month by end of November. However, the promise was dismissed by the academic staff.

The lecturers are demanding payment of incentives for the last 8 months excluding the month of October.

At the end of June, the arrears had accumulated arrears to Shs27 billion.

What are the incentives

The incentives were introduced during the 2013/2014 academic year after teaching staff went on strike demanding 100 per cent salary increment. They were meant to consolidate allowances that lecturers were earning from teaching evening programme students and eradicate indiscriminate distribution of the allowances among lecturers.

 In September, the lecturers stopped teaching evening programme classes after management’s decision to cut their incentives by 75 per cent. The University Council bowed to lecturers’ pressure and rescinded the decision to reduce the incentives on September 14.

According to a statement presented to the lecturers by management, the cumulative budget versus the actual revenue deficit for the past three financial years stands at Sh72 billion.

This, according to management has resulted into inability to meet financial obligations, service and operation interruption, poor service delivery and inability to pay June salaries at the end of 2015-2016 financial year.

All lecturers who reacted to submissions from management said they are frustrated by endless failure by their bosses to honour their promises.

The academic staff members voted to maintain resolutions of the Monday general assembly to maintain their strike until they are paid.

“We must compel management to pay our incentives. We must get what belongs to us. There is money being hidden somewhere,” Prof Jacob Agea, a lecturer at the College of Health Sciences said.

He said the university management (Council members and management) always manage to soothe them with promises.

“Their salaries are being paid, their allowances are being paid…let them plead but we must insist on being paid. We need our incentives,” Dr Edward Mwavu, a lecturer at the School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences said.

 The lecturers were also informed that at the moment, the university has Sh4.6 billion on all its accounts which has been allocated to cater for October salaries.

A senior University Council member, who requested for anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Council told this reporter that the university would be closed today if lecturers refuse to end the strike.

He said the university would not pay the incentives and the government will not accept to be dragged into the issue.

Prof Ddumba said management is waiting for a formal communication from the lecturers' association leadership before deciding its next decision.

“I have heard that they are going to continue with the strike and that is unfortunate,” Prof Ddumba said.

 

 

reas. Police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse rowdy students who fought back with stones.

The students went on strike demanding that lecturers who had earlier gone on strike demanding for nine months accrued arrears to resume teaching as they pursued their demands.

Guild Speaks

Shortly after Mr Museveni ordered the closure, the university Guild President, Mr Roy Ssembogga, issued a statement calling on the students to wait for a response from the his office.

“I am currently in an emergency meeting with the guild prime minister. I kindly request you to await the guild’s position on this,” he said in a brief statement issued late on Tuesday.

It was, however, not possible to establish what the guild’s decision was.

Besigye weighs in

Opposition leader Col Dr Kizza Besigye weighed in on the president’s directive, saying it was ridiculous for government to claim that it does not have the resources to pay the striking lecturers.

“Makarere University students and staff should defy this ridiculous order. There’s money to bail out a private bank but not pay staff dues!” the former presidential candidate said in a tweet.

 

imufumba@ug.nationmedia.com

Museveni closes Makerere University after days of turbulence

Wednesday November 02 2016

latest02pix

KAMPALA- President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the immediate closure of Makerere University citing concerns over the safety of persons and property.

“I Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda has this 1st day of November 2016, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the Constitution and Section 26(2) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended, decided to close Makerere University with immediate effect,” reads a statement he issued on Tuesday.

Mr Museveni’s directive followed hours of turbulence at Uganda’s oldest university. On Tuesday, the students engaged police in

Makerere University closure looms as students join lecturers’ strike

Tuesday November 01 2016

latest05pix

Makerere University students are striking following Monday’s general assembly of teaching staff which voted to continue with their sit-down strike until they are paid all the incentive arrears.

The students’ strike started at Lumumba Hall on Tuesday amid heavy police and military deployment inside the university.

The students want lecturers to resume teaching as they demand their incentive payments. The University Council, the highest decision making body at the institution is meeting to decide the next move.

The Monday general assembly which voted to continue with the strike was attended by the Council Chairperson Dr Charles Wana Etyem, the Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba Ssentamu and Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Prof Bernabas Nawangwe.

 “I want to appeal to you directly that in the interest of Makerere University…, unless the university is running, we are not going to solve these problems,” Dr Etyem said.

He had promised the lecturers that the university would pay their incentives for one month by end of November. However, the promise was dismissed by the academic staff.

The lecturers are demanding payment of incentives for the last 8 months excluding the month of October.

At the end of June, the arrears had accumulated arrears to Shs27 billion.

What are the incentives

The incentives were introduced during the 2013/2014 academic year after teaching staff went on strike demanding 100 per cent salary increment. They were meant to consolidate allowances that lecturers were earning from teaching evening programme students and eradicate indiscriminate distribution of the allowances among lecturers.

 In September, the lecturers stopped teaching evening programme classes after management’s decision to cut their incentives by 75 per cent. The University Council bowed to lecturers’ pressure and rescinded the decision to reduce the incentives on September 14.

According to a statement presented to the lecturers by management, the cumulative budget versus the actual revenue deficit for the past three financial years stands at Sh72 billion.

This, according to management has resulted into inability to meet financial obligations, service and operation interruption, poor service delivery and inability to pay June salaries at the end of 2015-2016 financial year.

All lecturers who reacted to submissions from management said they are frustrated by endless failure by their bosses to honour their promises.

The academic staff members voted to maintain resolutions of the Monday general assembly to maintain their strike until they are paid.

“We must compel management to pay our incentives. We must get what belongs to us. There is money being hidden somewhere,” Prof Jacob Agea, a lecturer at the College of Health Sciences said.

He said the university management (Council members and management) always manage to soothe them with promises.

“Their salaries are being paid, their allowances are being paid…let them plead but we must insist on being paid. We need our incentives,” Dr Edward Mwavu, a lecturer at the School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences said.

 The lecturers were also informed that at the moment, the university has Sh4.6 billion on all its accounts which has been allocated to cater for October salaries.

A senior University Council member, who requested for anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Council told this reporter that the university would be closed today if lecturers refuse to end the strike.

He said the university would not pay the incentives and the government will not accept to be dragged into the issue.

Prof Ddumba said management is waiting for a formal communication from the lecturers' association leadership before deciding its next decision.

“I have heard that they are going to continue with the strike and that is unfortunate,” Prof Ddumba said.

 

 

reas. Police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse rowdy students who fought back with stones.

The students went on strike demanding that lecturers who had earlier gone on strike demanding for nine months accrued arrears to resume teaching as they pursued their demands.

Guild Speaks

Shortly after Mr Museveni ordered the closure, the university Guild President, Mr Roy Ssembogga, issued a statement calling on the students to wait for a response from the his office.

“I am currently in an emergency meeting with the guild prime minister. I kindly request you to await the guild’s position on this,” he said in a brief statement issued late on Tuesday.

It was, however, not possible to establish what the guild’s decision was.

Besigye weighs in

Opposition leader Col Dr Kizza Besigye weighed in on the president’s directive, saying it was ridiculous for government to claim that it does not have the resources to pay the striking lecturers.

“Makarere University students and staff should defy this ridiculous order. There’s money to bail out a private bank but not pay staff dues!” the former presidential candidate said in a tweet.

 

imufumba@ug.nationmedia.com

Makerere students vacate halls as riot police keep watch

Wednesday November 02 2016

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There is heavy deployment of security personnel at Makerere University following President Museveni’s directive to close the 94-year-old institution.

President Museveni on Tuesday ordered the closure of the university until further notice to guarantee safety of persons and property. The directive follows Tuesday running battles between police and students who were protesting a lecturer’s strike that entered its third week on Monday.

As early at 6am on Wednesday, police had deployed at all halls of residence to oversee the president’s directive.

Students were seen packing their property to vacate the campus with several of them anticipating free transport promised by the university management.

READ:

Museveni closes Makerere University after days of turbulence

Wednesday November 02 2016

latest02pix

KAMPALA- President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the immediate closure of Makerere University citing concerns over the safety of persons and property.

“I Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda has this 1st day of November 2016, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the Constitution and Section 26(2) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended, decided to close Makerere University with immediate effect,” reads a statement he issued on Tuesday.

Mr Museveni’s directive followed hours of turbulence at Uganda’s oldest university. On Tuesday, the students engaged police in

Makerere University closure looms as students join lecturers’ strike

Tuesday November 01 2016

latest05pix

Makerere University students are striking following Monday’s general assembly of teaching staff which voted to continue with their sit-down strike until they are paid all the incentive arrears.

The students’ strike started at Lumumba Hall on Tuesday amid heavy police and military deployment inside the university.

The students want lecturers to resume teaching as they demand their incentive payments. The University Council, the highest decision making body at the institution is meeting to decide the next move.

The Monday general assembly which voted to continue with the strike was attended by the Council Chairperson Dr Charles Wana Etyem, the Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba Ssentamu and Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Prof Bernabas Nawangwe.

 “I want to appeal to you directly that in the interest of Makerere University…, unless the university is running, we are not going to solve these problems,” Dr Etyem said.

He had promised the lecturers that the university would pay their incentives for one month by end of November. However, the promise was dismissed by the academic staff.

The lecturers are demanding payment of incentives for the last 8 months excluding the month of October.

At the end of June, the arrears had accumulated arrears to Shs27 billion.

What are the incentives

The incentives were introduced during the 2013/2014 academic year after teaching staff went on strike demanding 100 per cent salary increment. They were meant to consolidate allowances that lecturers were earning from teaching evening programme students and eradicate indiscriminate distribution of the allowances among lecturers.

 In September, the lecturers stopped teaching evening programme classes after management’s decision to cut their incentives by 75 per cent. The University Council bowed to lecturers’ pressure and rescinded the decision to reduce the incentives on September 14.

According to a statement presented to the lecturers by management, the cumulative budget versus the actual revenue deficit for the past three financial years stands at Sh72 billion.

This, according to management has resulted into inability to meet financial obligations, service and operation interruption, poor service delivery and inability to pay June salaries at the end of 2015-2016 financial year.

All lecturers who reacted to submissions from management said they are frustrated by endless failure by their bosses to honour their promises.

The academic staff members voted to maintain resolutions of the Monday general assembly to maintain their strike until they are paid.

“We must compel management to pay our incentives. We must get what belongs to us. There is money being hidden somewhere,” Prof Jacob Agea, a lecturer at the College of Health Sciences said.

He said the university management (Council members and management) always manage to soothe them with promises.

“Their salaries are being paid, their allowances are being paid…let them plead but we must insist on being paid. We need our incentives,” Dr Edward Mwavu, a lecturer at the School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences said.

 The lecturers were also informed that at the moment, the university has Sh4.6 billion on all its accounts which has been allocated to cater for October salaries.

A senior University Council member, who requested for anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Council told this reporter that the university would be closed today if lecturers refuse to end the strike.

He said the university would not pay the incentives and the government will not accept to be dragged into the issue.

Prof Ddumba said management is waiting for a formal communication from the lecturers' association leadership before deciding its next decision.

“I have heard that they are going to continue with the strike and that is unfortunate,” Prof Ddumba said.

 

 

reas. Police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse rowdy students who fought back with stones.

The students went on strike demanding that lecturers who had earlier gone on strike demanding for nine months accrued arrears to resume teaching as they pursued their demands.

Guild Speaks

Shortly after Mr Museveni ordered the closure, the university Guild President, Mr Roy Ssembogga, issued a statement calling on the students to wait for a response from the his office.

“I am currently in an emergency meeting with the guild prime minister. I kindly request you to await the guild’s position on this,” he said in a brief statement issued late on Tuesday.

It was, however, not possible to establish what the guild’s decision was.

Besigye weighs in

Opposition leader Col Dr Kizza Besigye weighed in on the president’s directive, saying it was ridiculous for government to claim that it does not have the resources to pay the striking lecturers.

“Makarere University students and staff should defy this ridiculous order. There’s money to bail out a private bank but not pay staff dues!” the former presidential candidate said in a tweet.

 

imufumba@ug.nationmedia.com

IN PICTURES:

The security officer at the university, Mr Jackson Mucunguzi who was seen chatting with Lumumba Hall residents said those who fail to vacate by 9am would be arrested.

However, hundreds of students are still stranded at the university. Many of them say they have no money to travel to their upcountry homes.

Daily Monitor has learnt that lectures at the Makerere University Medical School Mulago have not been affected.

ALSO READ:

Middle-income status is not going to be achieved by closing Makerere University

Wednesday November 02 2016


At the risk of possible ridicule, I have tried to be one of the most optimistic persons about this whole race to a middle-income status for Uganda. For some reason, since the announcement of Vision 2040 and the launch of the National Development Plan II, I have tried to change my way of life as a way of contributing personally and humbly to the attainment of the middle-income status. I have always carried a belief that each one of us has a role to play in achieving this glorious thing called ‘middle income status’.

Just yesterday, I spent a greater part of my morning and afternoon following the events unfolding at Makerere University – the strike, the closure of the varsity and the subsequent commentaries coming from both government and non-government entities.

The closure of the university itself made me seriously question the extent to which government is surely committed to arriving at the middle income destination in a few years to come.

You and I know that skilled human resource is the engine that will deliver Uganda to the middle-income status that we are aspiring for. At a time when Uganda is desperately searching for quality human resource, it is ironical that we are closing one of the best universities in the country because we cannot solve the underlying issues that have continuously dogged the university and many other public education institutions.

In my lowly understanding, at the centre of the quest for a ‘middle income status’ is a workforce that is highly educated and skilled in the subjects that are required by the current context and markets.
A skilled workforce, which is about solving problems through application of cutting-edge technologies, research knowledge and science. Makerere University in its humble way has distinguished itself as that ‘go-to’ institution for research, knowledge, and technologies amidst the contextual challenges that prevail.

I strongly think that the choice to close the university indefinitely without addressing the real problems of the teachers, administrators, and students may be too simplistic and may not portend well with the true spirit of pursuance of the middle-income status.

Right now and over the next few years, Uganda should be seen to be doing everything possible to produce graduates who create tools, platforms and algorithms, which unlock socio-economic logjams of their nation. This wont be done by closing education institutions.

The country should be seen to be supporting every inch of (quality) education. The prioritisation of education should be seen both in budget and practice. As we speak, we should be seen to be chasing an education system that encourages and produces for instance, engineers who resolve engineering problems; engineers who don’t contend with the sight of perennial potholes, urban water logging and unending traffic jams.

Schools should be aiming at producing skilled economists who can re-engineer viable economic models to solve the nation’s economic complexities.

We should be thinking of investing heavily in training agronomists who will resolve agricultural challenges and ensure more productivity. This can only be done if we invest in those who run the education sector.
The act of closing Makerere University threatens the country’s commitment to the education sector and most importantly tells a different story about the government’s commitment to quality education – at all levels.
In the current context where markets are very dynamic, we must be seen to be strengthening the ability of our workers to adapt to changing market demands and to benefit from innovation and investments in new technologies, environment, health and infrastructure. This is what education institutions do.
Market responsive and high quality education and training fuels innovation, investment, economic diversification and competitiveness, as well as social and occupational mobility – and thus the creation of more productive and more rewarding employment opportunities.

If indeed we are seriously committed to this middle-income status kaboozi, then, we should be putting our money where our mouth is. The education sector is one of those areas that we should unquestionably be investing in.
The middle-income status is not going to come with mere rhetoric but by taking some hard, and sincere practical measures to realise it.
Mr Kaheru is the coordinator, Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).

Middle-income status is not going to be achieved by closing Makerere University

Wednesday November 02 2016


At the risk of possible ridicule, I have tried to be one of the most optimistic persons about this whole race to a middle-income status for Uganda. For some reason, since the announcement of Vision 2040 and the launch of the National Development Plan II, I have tried to change my way of life as a way of contributing personally and humbly to the attainment of the middle-income status. I have always carried a belief that each one of us has a role to play in achieving this glorious thing called ‘middle income status’.

Just yesterday, I spent a greater part of my morning and afternoon following the events unfolding at Makerere University – the strike, the closure of the varsity and the subsequent commentaries coming from both government and non-government entities.

The closure of the university itself made me seriously question the extent to which government is surely committed to arriving at the middle income destination in a few years to come.

You and I know that skilled human resource is the engine that will deliver Uganda to the middle-income status that we are aspiring for. At a time when Uganda is desperately searching for quality human resource, it is ironical that we are closing one of the best universities in the country because we cannot solve the underlying issues that have continuously dogged the university and many other public education institutions.

In my lowly understanding, at the centre of the quest for a ‘middle income status’ is a workforce that is highly educated and skilled in the subjects that are required by the current context and markets.
A skilled workforce, which is about solving problems through application of cutting-edge technologies, research knowledge and science. Makerere University in its humble way has distinguished itself as that ‘go-to’ institution for research, knowledge, and technologies amidst the contextual challenges that prevail.

I strongly think that the choice to close the university indefinitely without addressing the real problems of the teachers, administrators, and students may be too simplistic and may not portend well with the true spirit of pursuance of the middle-income status.

Right now and over the next few years, Uganda should be seen to be doing everything possible to produce graduates who create tools, platforms and algorithms, which unlock socio-economic logjams of their nation. This wont be done by closing education institutions.

The country should be seen to be supporting every inch of (quality) education. The prioritisation of education should be seen both in budget and practice. As we speak, we should be seen to be chasing an education system that encourages and produces for instance, engineers who resolve engineering problems; engineers who don’t contend with the sight of perennial potholes, urban water logging and unending traffic jams.

Schools should be aiming at producing skilled economists who can re-engineer viable economic models to solve the nation’s economic complexities.

We should be thinking of investing heavily in training agronomists who will resolve agricultural challenges and ensure more productivity. This can only be done if we invest in those who run the education sector.
The act of closing Makerere University threatens the country’s commitment to the education sector and most importantly tells a different story about the government’s commitment to quality education – at all levels.
In the current context where markets are very dynamic, we must be seen to be strengthening the ability of our workers to adapt to changing market demands and to benefit from innovation and investments in new technologies, environment, health and infrastructure. This is what education institutions do.
Market responsive and high quality education and training fuels innovation, investment, economic diversification and competitiveness, as well as social and occupational mobility – and thus the creation of more productive and more rewarding employment opportunities.

If indeed we are seriously committed to this middle-income status kaboozi, then, we should be putting our money where our mouth is. The education sector is one of those areas that we should unquestionably be investing in.
The middle-income status is not going to come with mere rhetoric but by taking some hard, and sincere practical measures to realise it.
Mr Kaheru is the coordinator, Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).


The president called upon universities to review their curricular to ensure that they incorporate skills in their academic programs, saying this is vital in the struggle to transform Uganda to a middle income society.

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Dr Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, the Rector Islamic University in Uganda, said as a university they are fully aware of the challenges of living and working in the knowledge driven 21st century, which requires academic institutions to prepare students to have the capacity to be creative and innovative.
He said the university is going to consolidate the gains made so far to focus more attention on science and technology programs.

Dr Abdulaziz Alsebail, the Islamic University in Uganda Council chairperson, said the 28th University council meeting drafted a strategy dubbed IUIU Vision 2020.
He said the vision has the objectives of establishing a greater number of science and technology based programs, improving teaching and learning facilities for all programmes among others.

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