Low Student Turn-up as Makerere University Reopens Top story

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In short
The reopening of the university follows protracted negotiations and a resolution by lecturers through their Umbrella; Makerere University Academic Staff Association MUASA, to end a strike that had paralyzed work at the institution leading to its closure on November 1, 2016.

There is a poor turn up of students at Makerere University, as it opens its doors after two months of closure. 

The reopening of the university follows protracted negotiations and a resolution by lecturers through their Umbrella; Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), to end a strike that had paralyzed work at the institution leading to its closure on November 1, 2016.

The staff went on strike on October 25 demanding for their incentive, additional financial package given to members of staff for undertaking extra duties. Such duties include among others, teaching evening and weekend classes. They had not been paid since February 2016.

The arrangement which started in 2013 has seen lecturers earn incentives amounting to 70 percent of their monthly salaries. The university pays up to 4 billion Shillings every month in incentives to it's over 2,600 members of staff. By the time of the strike, lectures were demanding for over 28 billion Shillings in incentive arrears.

Following the resolution, the university council set today January 2, 2017 as reporting date for all students to enable them continue with the first semester of the academic year which was cut short by the strike. However, only a handful of students are seen at the campus today.

Although offices were opened as early as 8 am, all lecture halls are empty with no significant academic activity taking place. Instead the place is surrounded by cleaners who are visibly undertaking a general cleaning exercise, in preparation for the resumption of classes.

MUASA Spokesperson Deus Kamunyu told Uganda Radio Network that lectures are ready to resume their duties as soon as the students report.

Aggrey Katurege, the Chairperson of Mitchell Hall, which houses at least 700 students, told URN that not even a quarter of the students had reported yet. Katurege attributed the low turn-up to the week-long festive celebrations.

According to Pious Mwabine, the University Hall Chairperson, more students are expected to arrive at the campus later today, as majority is still travelling back from far off upcountry destinations.

 

About the author

Dominic Ochola
Dominic Ochola has been a journalist since 2009. He was worked for King 90.2 FM in 2007 a reporter the later joined Radio Rupiny 95.7 FM as a presenter and Traffic Controller. Under Vision Group, he was redeployed to Lira in 2012 as Sub Editor for Rupiny Newspaper until 2014.

He also had one year spell as reporter at the Irene Gleeson Foundation faith based Mighty Fire 91.5 FM in 2015 before joining Uganda Radio Network (URN) 2016 as Special Projects Correspondent covering Education.

In 2018, he was redeployed by URN as Bureau Chief Acholi East and later transfered Bureau Chief Gulu effective 1st June 2019 covering Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts. For Ochola, URN is a modern day newsroom that inspires engaging citizen-driven journalism.