Makerere University Council is yet to sit to resolve the students’ grievances three days after the students went on strike to protest the University’s 60% tuition policy.
The policy adopted in 2006 but put into force last year, requires all private students to pay at least 60 percent of their tuition within the first six weeks of the 17-week semester.
Dr. Charles Wana Etyem, the University Council Chairperson, told URN the Council has a scheduled time for sitting and does not simply sit over students’ grievances and demands. Etyem was responding to a query on whether the Council had received a petition from Makerere Students’ Guild over the 60% tuition policy which has sparked off three days of strike from the students at the university.
The council is the highest decision making organ of the university with 23 members. If Dr Etyem sticks to his word, the students will have to wait for the 127th council meeting whose dates are yet to be determined.
On Monday, students went on strike over the planned implementation of the 60% tuition policy by the university administration.
A communiqué written on February 1st by the academic registrar’s office to all students requests them to clear 60% of their tuition fees by March 8th or risk termination.
The students responded by staging a strike forcing the vice-chancellor, Professor John Ddumba Sentamu to ask them to write a petition which he will forward to the University Council for immediate action.
In the petition, a copy of which a URN reporter has seen, the students demand a rescinding of the academic registrar’s decision and also call upon the council to drop the policy labeled draconian, inhuman, undesirable and unsustainable.
The vice-chancellor’s office says the petition has been forwarded to the council.
Ritah Namisango, the university spokesperson told URN that the petition had been forwarded to the university council but could not give an assurance as to when the council will sit to deal with it.
Meanwhile relative calm has returned to the university premises with heavy police deployment at all faculties and halls of residence.
Ivan Katta, the guild president says the strike has not yet been called off and that a deadline of February 14 is what lies between them and a fresh strike.