By: PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE
Kampala: A team instituted to investigate the state of Makerere University yesterday submitted its report to government with a proposal to pay Shs9 million to professors in public universities.
The taskforce headed by Prof Francis Omaswa was expected to look into job-grading structures, reward mechanisms and the resultant grievances and disputes that have often cropped up at the institution.
The recommendations of the taskforce, if implemented, will see the lowest ranking lecturer earning a take home of about Shs3m monthly.
Presently, the university pays a teaching assistant Shs1.7 million and a professor earns Shs2.8 million per month. However, the report adds that this pay may be cheap to administer but may not improve the retention of key staff and also attract the best.
They propose Shs9 million a month for a professor and a maximum of Shs11 million if the government wants to attract the best brains in the region.
Receiving the report, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday said the government will study the findings with a view to come up with a position to improve the welfare of staff in institutions of higher learning. “A living wage is good. But there is also the reality. We will look at the document and finally come up with a position as government,” Mr Mbabazi said at his office in Kampala.
The report found out that the role for the positions of vice chancellor, university secretary and deputy vice chancellor in-charge of academics and academic registrar are duplicated. “The current law is a source of conflict between the offices of the regarding oversight and accountability for finances and administration. This anomaly needs to be corrected by merging the offices,” reads part of the report.
REPORT FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Big numbers. The introduction of paying fees opened an influx of private students and a proliferation of new academic programmes. Increased student enrolment has overwhelmed existing facilities. Some students who go for internship are not supervised yet the university pays money.
Decline in quality. A decline in the quality of teaching and learning standards. Underfunding. Despite producing 67 per cent of the graduates, the institution continues to be underfunded.
NCHE blamed. The National Council for Higher Education has failed to regulate duplicated courses.
Pay raise. A professor should earn Shs11m, associate professor Shs6.1 million, senior lecturer Shs4.9m and a lecturer Shs3.9m. An assistant lecturer Shs3.1m and a teaching assistant Shs2.5m.