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Mbarara University Students Strike

Under the new policy, every student who fails a paper is required to pay 50,000 shillings for each paper retaken and once a student fails two papers, he/she automatically gets a dead year. In this case such a student is required to stay put in their current year of study.
The students have abandoned lectures.

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Students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology have gone on strike challenging a new policy introduced by the administration targeting those who fail examinations.

  

Under the new policy, every student who fails a paper is required to pay 50,000 shillings for each paper retaken and once a student fails two papers, he/she automatically gets a dead year. In this case such a student is required to stay put in their current year of study.

  

Initially the policy put shillings 200,000 for each paper retaken and once a student fail three papers, he or she automatically get a dead year. This was however redesigned after a students' protest on the 23rd of August.

  

Students say that they were not part of the process and their views were not incorporated in the new policy.

 

The students have abandoned lectures and pitched camp in the University grounds. They are demanding for audience with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Therestine Obua.

  

Students also carried placards, some of which read: "We cannot pay 50,000 shillings for retakes", "We are no longer fools", "Enough is enough “and "University failed to listen" among others.

  

The students were also chanting songs that are anti-University administration branding it as incompetent.

  

//Cue in: “Shouting .....

Cue out:....shouting.”//

  

The students also accused the administration of failing to ensure that there is steady supply of electricity and water at the University premises.

  

Sankara Byaruhanga, a student at the University says that the administration is not bothered about the state of sanitation at the institution and only focuses on collecting money and putting in place retake policies.

  

//Cue in : “When you talk....

Cue out:....is Mbarara University.”//

  

He further revealed that students have also been asking the institution to address the challenge of unreliable electricity and water but in vain. He says that the students will remain calm but will not attend lectures until their concerns are addressed.

  

//Cue in : “We have electricity....

Cue out:....the students themselves.”//

  

Juliet Katukunda, another student says that the administration seems not to be willing to listen to the grievances of students.

  

Denis Lukaya, the Public Relations Officer, declined to comment on the matter saying that the University vice chancellor was away.

 

By the time of filing this story, the students had retreated to their halls of residence after they failed to meet the vice chancellor. Other students remained camped in the compound in small groups.

  

Police has also pitched camp at the University to avert any possible chaos. Jaffar Magyezi, the Mbarara district police commander, says that the police is to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand.

  

On August 23, the students took to the streets of Mbarara town after the administration refused to listen to them.

 

The strike was called off after the intervention Mbarara resident district commissioner, Martha Asiimwe and District internal security officer, Robert Nabimanya.

  

This comes just a week after President Museveni closed Makerere University following weeks of strikes by both teaching staff and students.

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