SUMMARY: Dickens Otim, the Lira University guild president asked the government to abolish certain policies and conditions in the universities and allow students to pay at least 50% as a commitment fee and pay the balance before graduation.
University Guild Presidents have asked managements to allow finalists to sit for final exams without paying full tuition.
Makerere University Business School (MUBS) guild president, Romulus Tusingwire, said if the universities ask students to pay for full tuition before sitting for their final papers, many will drop out since they can not afford.
He said the recent announcement by President Yoweri Museveni allowing finalists to return to universities to sit for final exams left them wondering how they are going to pay the tuition with the current situation.
“We have those students who paid tuition before we were sent home, and those who paid in installments. We want to know whether universities will demand payment of the full amount or not,” he said.
“There are many an answered questions and we request government through the ministry of education and sports to consider some of these interjections in the planning phase,” he said.
Dickens Otim, the Lira University guild president asked the government to abolish certain policies and conditions in the universities and allow students to pay at least 50% as a commitment fee and pay the balance before graduation.
Otim said COVID-19 sent everyone in panic and anxiety even the savings they had made; they ended up using it for stocking food.
Kyambogo guild speaker, Brian Kidega, who spoke on behalf of University Guild President, appealed to the Uganda National Students Association to request the government to allow parents more time to make money; otherwise it’s not going to be easy for them to pay tuition.
He said, “because of the pandemic, economic activities have been halted, so it is not going to be possible for parents and students to pay tuition. Many are non-essential workers so they were sent on forced leave while others receive half pay.’’
Meanwhile, at least 250 students are stuck at MUBS after they were caught up by the lockdown.
50 of them are foreigners coming from Kenya, Tanzanians, and South Sudan. The stranded students are residing in Mbuya, Nakawa, and Kinawataka, among others.
One of the students said they were surviving on the beans and posho donated by the government through the office of the Resident City Commissioner (RCC).
“We received 180kgs of beans and 180kgs of posh, however, we are worried, if the government extends the lockdown what are we going to do?” he asked.
President Museveni closed schools on March 18 to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the country.