By Our Reporter
Makerere University, vice guild president Judith Nalukwago has blamed University authorities for doing little to improve standards of living in spite of a 15% tuition increment in the 2018/19 year.
Her words come on the back drop of a student protests that have rocked East Africa’s oldest education institution since Monday this week.
Speaking to The Homeland Newspaper in Kampala, Nalukwago says although students were promised of elevated cleanliness at halls of residence, urinary tract infection (UTI) remain an Achilles heel to many female students.
“You can go to the records of the university hospital. The most recorded thing is UTIs among female students because of the halls of residence where we are living”, she intimates.
For the past two years there has been an increment in tuition by 15% which it is cumulative. That means if I am paying 1.2 this year, the next year, people who will come in will pay 1.2 plus 15% of 1.2.
Then the other year that will come in will pay that money that has been increased. For example if it has been increased to 1.4, that means 1.4 plus 15% of the increment of that 1.4. this is an unfair situation of tuition increment. So that is what sparked off the demonstration, because students are unsatisfied with what is going on. Very many students are getting out of university because of this cumulative increment which is unfair.
Tuition was increased in the year 2018/ 19, and the increment is supposed to continue increasing for the next five years. But the year it was introduced after the year is the year the university published names of students who have failed to pay tuition.
That means that it has never happened before. It has happened because students cannot pay tuition anymore, parents cannot pay tuition. The university had to go to an extent of publishing students names in newspapers.
In the same year, is the same year we have recorded the highest number of student drop outs. Why we came out as female students we are tired of treating UTIs every other day, in fact you can go to the records of the university hospital. The most recorded thing is UTIs among female students because of the halls of residence where we are living. Even
“But certainly nothing has improved. They cited that they were going to improve toilets, bathrooms. They are going to work on our IDs, up to now second years don’t have IDs.
Lets leave alone first years who have just joined, second years don’t have IDs. When you lose your ID, you forget about getting another one. Even after the increase there is nothing that is reflected at the university.
It is very simple, this scuffle will come to an end as long as our demands are met. If they are met we shall sit down and continue with business as usual. We have been trying to dialogue but dialogue has failed for seven months. One of them, we want a halt on the 15% increment.
We want all the students who have been suspended because of expressing their views t be reinstated. All the students who were arrested for their constitutional right. Some of them were arrested and taken to police cells, some we don’t know their whereabouts.
They should be released and brought back to campus. The next thing, we want electoral reforms to be gazetted. When they were making them they did not consult us yet we have a student body.