Makerere calls for calm as ICT students strike

Kampala- The management of Makerere University yesterday restored calm at the College of Computing and Information Sciences after students staged a demonstration, claiming they had spent three weeks without being taught.

The students are demanding to be taught after they paid tuition at the beginning of the semester.

The university management requires that students pay at least 60 per cent of fees before they report to the campus and are allowed to do coursework.

Lecturers lay down toolsBut their lecturers turned down their bosses’ request yesterday to return to class, insisting that the university first pays their dues which accrued in teaching arrears in the last academic year.

Ms Maria Roselyn Muzaaki, the college’s communication officer, said they accumulated Shs342 million in the 201213 academic year meant for lecturers’ allowances for invigilation, undergraduate supervision and marking students’ scripts.

Last week, the college administration requested the lecturers to be patient and return to class, promising to pay at least Shs50m as they continued to engage the central administration to take over the bill.

Offer“We cannot afford to pay Shs342 million at once. We are financially constrained but the college has committed to pay half of Shs100 million for marking allowance by next week,” Ms Muzaaki said in an interview last week.

“We request that the lecturers go back to teach because there is a will to pay them,” she added.

But by yesterday, the lecturers were not ready to teach, insisting the college clears their bills before they can engage the students in a new academic year.

Way forwardThe central administration, including the University Secretary, Mr David Kahudha Muhwezi, and the deputy vice chancellor in charge academics held negotiations with students. By press time, there was no official communication on what the university had resolved as Ms Muzaaki replied our repeated calls with a text message, saying they were still locked in meetings to see a way forward.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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