Makerere University has abolished the evening programme starting next academic year 2018/2019.
In addition, it is to reduce undergraduate programs and increase graduate numbers in an effort to turn itself into a research institution.
During the meeting held on 14th March 2018, the council resolved that new students starting with 2018/2019 academic year, would be admitted to study various academic programs at Makerere University either from 8am to 5pm or on the afternoon programme from 2 to 6pm.
“All new students starting with the coming Academic year 2018/2019, will be admitted to study various academic programs at Makerere University on either day program from 8am to 5pm or in the afternoon program from 2pm to 6pm. Colleges are however allowed to run evening programs after filling the minimum enrollment on day and afternoon programs,”Barnabus Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor Makerere said.
According to professor Nawangwe this decision stems from the University’s abolition of staff incentive, which did not augur well with staff members. According to Makerere University, internally generated revenue has dropped from Shs120billion to Shs 9billion over a period of 10 years something that pushed them into this decision.
According to Makerere, all continuing students of Makerere University currently enrolled on the evening programme will continue with their studies until successful completion. With this in place, the committee is still working and considering a number of issues during this time period including having a revenue sharing model between the center and colleges.
“I constituted a committee to review the evening teaching program with a view of defining alternative ways of remunerating staff who teach on the evening program and large classes in the absence of the incentive,” Nawangwe said.
The university suffers a heavy debt amounting to Shs 67 billion. Because of this, the abolition of the staff incentive took effect on 1st July 2016 forcing the university to also abolish catering services for the government-sponsored students.
“On 1st March 2018, the University Council unanimously agreed to stop providing meals in the Halls of Residence effective June 2018. With this council resolution, each Government sponsored students will receive Shs 476,000 per semester for feeding, Nawangwe said.
Students are to be given Shs2000 everyday for breakfast, lunch and supper something that students find unrealistic.
“That is absolutely unrealistic. Four thousand shillings cannot feed an adult every day. If the University does not solve this we shall have a big strike that will lead to another closure of the University,” Nawangwe said.
Meanwhile, following alleged Sexual harassment of a female student by Dr. Swizzen Kyemuhendo Makerere University has constituted a committee headed by prof. Sylvia Tamale.
These are expected to conclude the investigations in two months.
“I appointed a committee consisting of five respected professors to investigate the matter of sexual harassment at Makerere University generally, including a review of the Sexual Harassment policy and report the findings and recommendations to the vice chancellor. The committee headed by prof. Sylvia Tamale from the school of law is expected to conclude the investigations within two months,” Nuwagaba a student at Makerere University said.
Makerere University has been grappling with payment of allowances to academic staff in the past. This has seen a number of both staff and students strikes.
Could the suspension of the evening programme at the oldest institution solve the problem?