Makerere MPs demand Janet Museveni's presence in discussions
MPs demand Janet Museveni's presence in discussions concerning Makerere University tuition. File Photo

Members of Parliament demand Janet Museveni’s presence in discussions concerning Makerere University tuition

Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and the Chairperson of the University Council, Lorna Magara were dragged out of a meeting which was probing the 15% tuition increment at Makerere as well as the recent strike.

The MPs demand that for any discussions concerning Makerere University tuition to commence then Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni must also be present to respond to questions concerning the persistent student strikes.

Earlier when the students met with Parliament, it was confirmed that as a result of fees increase, about 1000 students have discontinued their studies. 

The students also told Parliament that because of the high tuition, the University had to publish names of fees defaulters in local newspapers where the names occupied about 8 pages in each newspaper publication.

“The university even reached the extent of re-advertising some courses because students had not applied to join them due to high tuition,” one student only identified as Nalukwago implied.

Why Makerere student are striking

Protests by students arise from the fact that they believe the increment was signed without their proper consent.

Although the University management accepted to remove the 15% on functional fees, the students insist that they want the policy removed also on the tuition.

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On 29th October 2019, the University Council held an emergency meeting and decided to halt any further increment on functional fees, but kept the 15% increase on tuition fees for the next three years.

This decision was apparently not acceptable to a section of the students and a few of them till today have continued with their riots mostly off-campus. 

According to the students, this policy is very unfair not only to those on government but also those on private sponsorship who have to toil hard to get their tuition.

Meanwhile, the University through the Vice-Chancellor said that despite the student’s continuous strikes, they are not ready to extend the examinations dates.

Examinations as earlier planned will start on 18th November 2019 but the University says this will not change and also that there will be no extension to the Semester. 

Meanwhile, it is still not confirmed whether students will be willing to resume their school duties and responsibilities when the University declined to revise the whole policy in general both for tuition and functional fees.

By John Dalton Kigozi