What you need to know:
- On Monday, a section of students spent the entire morning in running battles with the riot police and the military as they protested against online lectures.
The Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, has suspended 12 students for protesting against online lessons.
The latest developments brings to 15, the number of students suspended over various reasons, three days after reopening of the institution for the 2022 academic year.
On Monday, 12 students were arrested for protesting against online teaching and received their suspension letters yesterday morning while detained at Wandegeya Police Station where they spent a night. The students were later released.
Prof Nawangwe accuses the affected students of vandalising university property, disrupting teaching and learning, inciting violence and physical assault.
“It has come to my attention that you have been involved in acts of indiscipline together with other students that are yet to be identified. This is in breach of Makerere University students regulations,” Prof Nawangwe’s letter written to all the 12 students reads in part.
He added: “Because of your involvement in the above offensive acts and in order to ensure safety and security of the new students and university properties, I hereby suspend you from the university with immediate effect.”
The affected students, according to Prof Nawangwe, will be invited before the students’ disciplinary committee for an interaction on a date that will be communicated to them.
The students are also not allowed to appear at any university premises until the final decision is reached by the disciplinary committee.
However, the Makerere Guild President, Ms Shamim Nambassa, yesterday revealed that the Guild Council was doing everything possible to have the suspension withdrawn.
“We are not going to accept the suspension of students without being given a fair hearing by the disciplinary committee,” Ms Nambassa said.
On Monday, a section of students spent the entire morning in running battles with the riot police and the military as they protested against online lectures.
This came after the university management insisted on blended learning despite the full reopening of the economy.
The students, led by their guild president, wondered why the institution should remain closed yet they pay a lot of money in tuition and functional fees. Many students claimed it is burdensome to pay for data to attend online lectures.
But Prof Nawangwe insists that the university will continue with blended teaching as they had planned prior to the reopening of the economy.
Speaking yesterday at Uganda Media Centre, the State Minister for Primary Education, Dr Joyce Kaducu, asked Makerere University students to embrace ICT as opposed to traditional learning.
“There are many ways of conflict resolution. Striking does not solve anything. I ask the students’ leadership to engage the university management over their issues,” Dr Kaducu said.
She added: “Students can’t also be focused only on traditional methods of teaching. We need to diversify. As the government, we are doing everything possible to reduce the cost of data so this will serve to the advantage of students.”