Gulu University Students Go On Strike

7039 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The students are protesting against the delay by government to release their living day allowances and the poor living conditions for the 800 students who are on government sponsorship.

Students of Gulu University have gone on strike protesting delay by the government to release their living allowances and the poor living conditions.
The living allowance is for the 800 students who are on government sponsorship. Each student is given a daily stipend of 5000 shillings for meals and additional one thousand shillings for transport.

The rioting students this morning went to the office of the Vice Chancellor to demand for an explanation as to why their allowances were not forthcoming.

Denis Akena, the Guild President, says the students’ action was prompted by government’s failure to release the living day allowance. He says the money was supposed to be sent on September 28th but has up to date not been sent.

Akena says the students asked the Vice Chancellor Professor Nyeko Pen-Mogi to explain the cause of the delays. He says the students are also protesting the amount of money they are given as daily allowance.

According to Akena, the students say the allowance they get cannot match the high cost of living in Gulu town. He explains that a single meal in a makeshift restaurant in Gulu goes for 4000 shillings yet the students are only given 5000.

Akena says the university does not have halls of residence and as a result government students are forced to rent or live in hostels around the university. He however says the hostels charge 300,000 shillings yet government only sends 260,000.

The aggrieved students held a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the university who reportedly assured them that the university will use its local resources to pay the living day allowances as they wait for remittance from the government.

Professor Nyeko, however, told URN shortly after the meeting that the university is not in position to address the grievances of the students. He says the meeting he held with the students was basically to let them know that the problem is with government and not the university administration.

The Vice Chancellor describes the students’ situation as unfortunate.

By 2pm on Thursday, the students had agreed to resume attending lectures.

over the last two years, students in public universities, including Makerere and Kyambogo among others, have staged strikes to protest poor administration, poor feeding and failure by lecturers to teach them.