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  • EDUCATION

    MPs Grill Makerere, MUBS and UMI Bosses

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    MUK, MUBS and UMI officials before parliament's education committee

     

    Officials from Makerere University (MUK), Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and Uganda Management Institute (UMI) have faced a rough time at parliament after being attacked by bitter members of parliament.

    MUK and MUBS official, who were led by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Barnabas Nawaugwe and the University’s Acting Principal, Moses Muhwezi respectively appeared together with the officials from the UMI before the education committee of parliament to explain their policy statements.

    Hell broke loose after the representatives from the three institutions had conclusively presented their statements and failed to mention the wrangles between the two universities, which forced Kalungu East MP Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu to launch an attack on them.

    “None of you has given us any complaints this time yet you have always disturbed us with complaints between your selves. MUBS, you always complain that MUK is your biggest problem but this time you have not outlined them in your challenges,” Ssewungu tickled the representatives from both universities.

    The Vice chairperson of the committee, Jacob Opolot also lashed at the officials for fooling Members and warned them that if this issue is being crossed over, they should never dream of coming back to parliament specifically to the committee of education for help.

    “Even when we have a proposal, where we disagreed with you on MUBS being elevated to a fully-fledged university, you still have not talked about it. In the meantime, as a committee, we are fade up with your wrangles. People always find problems obtaining their transcripts and some miss out on graduation because of your problems,” Conny Galiwango, the committee chairperson noted.

    Members were further concerned about the issue of sexual harassment that’s rampant in the universities. However, MUK DVC Barnabas noted that; “On the cases of sexual harassment that you have been hearing, we have the most comprehensive sexual harassment policies in the world and it is zero tolerance. We have handled all cases that have come to management and we will continue doing that.”

    Still in the committee, members did not welcome MUBS idea of closing student’s halls of residence at the university.

    Moses Kasibante further attacked MUBS and MUK for not indicating clearly the beneficiaries of the student’s loan scheme provided by the government yet it’s the number one defaulter. He arrived at this after Muhwezi claimed that the university is in a financial crisis because of defaulters.

    Members were not convinced with the university’s new policy of putting an end to evening programmes.

    “You are here lamenting about defaulters yet you are phasing out opportunities. We sponsor our staff who work during day and study in the evening,” Kasibante said.

    Nawangwe elaborated on why MUK University has stopped feeding students.

    “We have 36,000 students at Makerere, 6000 of them are government sponsored, 4000 of those live off campus and we pay them a living out allowance including money for their feeding. The 2000 who sleep at campus, are the ones we have continued feeding. However, they have now become a problem for us to continue feeding.

    We have decided that instead of trying to cook for them, we instead provide them with money so that they can look for food elsewhere because most of them complain that the quality and quantity of food has gone down.”

    Doctor Florence Nakayiwa, the director planning at the university noted that with all resources combined, both from government and non-tax revenue, 54% which is equivalent to 131 Billion was released by December 2017. She says that since the university is constrained in financial resources, they have embarked on a process of investing in the university land under an entity that was established by Makerere university council which will look at investments through public/private investment.

    On student’s welfare, Nakayiwa noted that the university has put in place a student disciplinary committee which will reduce cases of indiscipline at the university.

    She further noted that a centralized marking approach was adopted as one of the ways of minimizing issues of lecturers demanding sex from students for marks.

    She however said that as the university, incorporating all activities is not possible since they are constrained by resources.

    “You will agree that the development budget of Makerere university is 159 million shillings and that leaves just a small room for implementation of all the university programs. The budget generally covers employee costs and other academic costs ranging from examinations, ICT, student’s food and accommodation,” Nakayiwa said.

    On the other hand, officials from the Uganda Management Institute have surprised members of the committee when they informed them that among the achievements the university has had is the housing of a baby care center.

    “This is a new innovation, we have put up a baby care center for our students and staff. Most of our students are parents we don’t have young people. So, when they bring their babies, they are taken to the baby center which is well furnished with facilities for babies,” Dr. James Nkatta, the director UMI said.

    Nkatta was however attacked by several MPs on the committee for submitting mismatching documents to the committee.

    “Your work is not coordinated at all, if you have other copies submit them because we do not understand what you are trying to explain. We need more details on the unfunded priorities, where the budget committee can base to request for more funding from government.´ Ssewungu said.

     

    By Stella Mugoya

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    EDUCATION

    KEEP YOUR MONEY; We Shall Not Accept Homosexuality, Lesbianism And Abortion – First Lady Slams European Funders Over LGBT…

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    Minister Kataha Museveni (L) and deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (R)

    First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni has slammed European funders over LGBT and asked them to keep their money if it is one of the conditions to fund Uganda.

    It should be remembered that during the recent 61st session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States Parliamentary Assembly and 42nd Session of the ACP-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA) in Maputo, Mozambique on 31st October 2022, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, who represented Uganda warned delegates that there is need for the Contonou Agreement to broadly define human rights in relation to homosexuality.

    Tayebwa told members who attended that the agreement contained clauses promoting homosexuality and abortion, a practice he said Uganda will vehemently oppose.

    “We have discovered that with the Post Cotonou agreement, there are hidden clauses concerning human rights. Clauses to do with sexuality, promotion of LGBT/homosexuality and clauses to do with abortion,” he said.

    He insisted, “We are a society that is not ready for homosexuality and we are a society that is not ready for abortion. As Africa, we believe that the institution of the family is at the core of whatever we are doing.”

    Appearing at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds today, as the chief guest at the National Conference on Ethics and Morality, Hon. Janet Museveni noted that they must stand up and let the world know who their God is, what determines their perspectives and who they follow.

    She revealed, “Why do we say we will not allow homosexuality and lesbianism in our society, we follow a living God who gives us the moral perspectives to live by.

    “It does not matter, those who threaten us that they won’t give us money can keep their money, God will provide for us.”

    At the same conference today, Tayebwa recalled the contentious discussion on LGBT at the recent Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific states and European Union (ACP-EU) in Maputo.

    He disclosed that when he went to Maputo, he was shocked to find all kinds of people from everywhere, private jets had landed, the issue was to lobby ACP-EU to pass a resolution that to access the next European funding to African, Caribbean and Pacific states, they must acknowledge LGBT.

    Tayebwa propounded, “They were saying we must acknowledge LGBT and also amend our laws to allow it, they were also saying we must provide money for abortion in the budget, that if you don’t have money we shall provide it to you. That’s when some of us said no.

    “What is unfortunate is that some people look at our stand on LGBT as abnormal, a certain European MP said to me ‘we can see you are spreading hatred’. Then we have the problem of fear, some people warned me that I could be denied Visa to certain countries,” Tayebwa said.

    By Hope Kalamira

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    CRIME

    University Professor Who Sexually Harassed Student Handed Over To CID..

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    Dr. Nafiu Lukman Abiodun

    Kabale University Professor, Dr. Nafiu Lukman Abiodun, the Head of Department of Economics and Statistics at the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences has been cited for sexual harassment of female student.

    Addressing press on Monday, 21st November, Police mouthpiece, Fred Enanga revealed that the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) Headquarters, has instituted inquiries into the alleged acts of sexual harassment, failure to follow examination regulations and professional negligence, by Dr. Nafiu.

    Enanga’s concern follows the recent incident of physical assault and harassment of a female Makerere University student by her lecturer, identified as Dr. Benard Wandera, of the College of Humanities and Social sciences, which occurred on the 18, November, 2022, during his lecture in the Frank-Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility.

    “As police, we take all reports of harassment seriously and we will ensure that the matter, which generated public debate after the video footage went viral is thoroughly investigated and justice accorded to the victim,” he said.

    The police mouthpiece added that a copy of the footage has been retrieved for further analysis and the victim has also been identified and arrangements are in place for the victim to record her statement.

    He adduced, “We are happy that the University took administrative action, through the immediate suspension of the lecturer and the composition of an investigation committee alleged acts of assault, harassment and willful professional misconduct by the lecturer. The priority of the university or college should remain the protection of both its students and employee community.

    “We also want to use this opportunity to call upon any university or college student, who has experienced any forms of abusive behavior, physical misconduct, sexual misconduct or any other form of inappropriate behavior, by a lecturer, university or college staff or fellow student, that the Directorate of CID, through its various departments of SGBV, General Crimes, provide a range of support for victimized students to get justice.

    “We strongly believe tough sanctions against abusive lecturers, will provide a campus environment that is full of respect, human dignity and an environment where everyone, can thrive in their academic, professional and personal pursuits. In addition, it will prohibit abusive Lecturers, Professors and other staff from finding new jobs in other Universities.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    EDUCATION

    Ministry Of Education Orders Early Closure Of Schools To Curb Ebola…

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    Education minister Janet Museveni

    Ministry of Education and Sports has ordered early closure of schools to curb ebola.

    Speaking to press on Tuesday, Ministry of Education noted that cabinet considered and approved a proposal from Ministry of Health to reduce Third term by two weeks so as to decongest schools that are likely to increase vulnerability of children to EVD infections.

    “Closing schools earlier will reduce areas of concentration where children are in daily close contact with fellow children, teachers and other staff who could potentially spread the virus,” State Minister for Primary Education, Dr. Moricu Kaducu said.

    She added, “Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary schools will close for Third Term holidays on Friday 25th November 2022.

    “The District /City/Municipal Education officers and head teachers should take note and act accordingly.

    “The schools will be required to conduct final/promotional exams a little earlier effective next week. Schools should communicate and prepare learners mentally and physically to adjust to this change in the school calendar.

    “Upon completion, children will be required to immediately return safely to their homes in a staggering manner to avoid congestion and congregating. The school administration will also be required to decontaminate all school facilities and make them safe for children’s return next year 2023.

    “The Ministry of Education and Sports together with Ministry of Works and Transport will issue guidelines on measures to follow during transportation of learners in order to avoid congestion at bus and taxi parks.”

    Dr.Moricu also revealed that on 26th October 2022, Ministry of Health confirmed that there were six cases in school-aged children who attended classes at three different schools in Rubaga Division of Kampala.

    “One of the children died from the disease and 170 contacts were identified from these cases. Among children, a total of 23 cases had been confirmed, of which; 8 had died while 5 had fully recovered and 16 were under isolation by 4th November, 2022.”

    It should be remembered that the Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on 20 September 2022 after a case was confirmed in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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