March 23, 2013

Makerere Students Challenge University Fees Policy

Friday March 22, 2013 marked the end of the eight weeks period given to all private students at Makerere University to clear up their tuition dues with the institution.Students were seen as early as possible in long queues meandering through bank compounds entirely cutting off access

Being the very deadline for students’ online registration as well, the enormous traffic ensured an internet system breakdown, forcing most of them to throng cafes within neighboring suburbs to beat the time limit, the deadline was pushed from six to eight weeks. This move however, has also been contested by the students governing body as “unwarranted and intended to fail the poor.”

The newly elected guild president Miss Anna Adeke Ebaju on Friday announced that she had since petitioned the Education and Sports Committee of Parliament seeking council’s reversal of the policy.“Judging from the Academic Registrar’s statements, it is clear that the policy is not geared to get students pay fees but rather discontinue them from studies,” she said.

“We understand that we are obliged to pay university dues but this mode of payment is simply vulgar. In any case some of the services we are paying for are not being provided. The council does not appreciate that some of our parents work in government institutions and earn monthly, implying that some of them might not have been paid by now,” said Henry Mutyaba, Head of the Private Students Association.

By press time hundreds of private students were still parked up in banking halls while others fiddled in the curved queues hoping to beat the closing minute, although it seemingly appeared impossible for the banks to deal with such huge numbers in the remaining few hours.

University spokesperson Mrs Ritah Namisango and her deputy were not in position to comment on whether or not those caught up by the deadline while in line would be offered a special arrangement.

Academic registrar Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah however maintained that the policy will not be reversed and all the repercussions spelt out on March 12, 2013 concerning those who fail to beat the deadline will be in full effect right away.

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