Makerere University Academic Staff Association – Muasa, have faulted the university council decision of phasing out the evening programme, urging the council to rethink the decision.
In a telephone conversation with PML Daily, Dr Deus Muhwezi Kamunyu, the Muasa chairman, reduced the communication made by the university vice chancellor to a scoring press conference. He said the university management never consulted them as the major stakeholders.
“The university never talked to us the academic staff, yet we are the major stakeholders. All that work is going to be left to us, time tabling, supervision. The university had to involve all the stakeholders and understand how this is going to work,” Dr Kamunyu said.
He added the university has the duty to bring on board all the concerned parties and understudy all the major activities it wants to undertake if the university is to grow.
“We need to know the details of this, you cannot know things from a press conference. I am very keen on saying that it is not good for the Vice Chancellor to announce programmes without under-studying them,” he added.
Makerere vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe on Friday announced that they have phased out evening lectures starting with the August 2018/2019 intake.
According to Prof Nawangwe, the resolution was reached at by the University council meeting on March 14.
He, however, said continuing students on the said programme are safe from the decision and they would continue having their classes until completion of their courses.
The decision leaves the day programme unmoved while the evening programme changed to afternoon (2pm – 6pm).
Dr Kamunyu said the VC says he has no money to run the evening programme but forgetting that the new programme (afternoon programme) is going to cost him much more.
“The university council is trying to run away from the bill of paying evening teaching allowances, which is not the measure, where will the money to run the afternoon programme come from? Because it calls for the recruitment of more lecturers, we have a big load and we do many things including supervision and research,” he asserted.
He advised the university management to revise the decision by involving all concerned parties and to understand every activity it wants to undertake by not only focusing on its convenience in terms of financial benefits but for the long term planning for the university.
A visitation committee instituted by President Museveni recommended that students from College of Humanities and Social Sciences-Chuss and College of Education and External Studies – CEES be shifted to Nsamizi Traning Institute in Mpigi and Kyambogo University respectively.
The recommendation aimed at creating space at the university given that study rooms have always been insufficient.
According to the system restructure by the university, the two programmes are set to run concurrently between 2:00PM- 5:00PM, and using the same limited study rooms.
For Genaral Kaganda, who graduated early this year, the university council decision seems to be a dream considering the small study rooms at some of the colleges.
“With limited lecture rooms at muk (sic) [Makerere] especially at Arts, I don’t think that this will work. The council is biting more than it can chew,” he said.
Jacob Isabirye a former student at Chuss says students on evening programme are cheated when given only four hours compared to their counterparts who stay at campus for the whole day.
“I think the council has gone wrong on this. How will they compensate the evening students? Having only four hours. They should just say, the evening programme is out and that is all.”
The university council also abolished staff incentives, but alternatives are being handled by evening teaching and allowances committee whose report will be presented to the University Council.
According to the VC, private catering services that were contracted by the university in 2014 to provide meals to government-sponsored students at the halls of residence have also been abolished.
Government sponsored students are now to receive Shs 476,000 for feeding for a semester.