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Makerere to phase out meals, internship allowances

Students in the Freedom Square at Makerere University.

Makerere University authorities have agreed to stop providing meals in the halls of residence effective June this year.

This was decided during a council meeting where officials discussed a survey report which was conducted among students.

The university has been providing meals to about 2,000 government resident students and other 4,000 non-residents.

While speaking to journalists  after the meeting, Mr Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Dean of Students at Makerere said, more than 50 percent of students recommended that the university gives them money to buy themselves food.

However, many government students say the move is uncalculated as many are likely to go without meals given the little money allocated to each student daily.

Government provides Shs4,000 per day to each student for meals of which the university and private students agree to be insufficient given the price hikes of food and others materials.

In 2014, Makerere University Council outsourced catering services to provide meals to students on its behalf. However, the private companies have decried the insufficient funds given to them forcing the university to phase out the service.

According to Mr Kabagambe, the contracts for the meal providers are ending by June and that the university will not renew their contracts under the current arrangement.

The university has been paying money directly to the companies to provide food to government sponsored students and halls residents since 2014.

The Council decision did not go down well with many government students who claim they were not consulted in the survey while others threatened to strike.

However, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe the university vice chancellor advised the aggrieved students to petition council or collect 50% signatures for the decision to be lifted.

“The beneficiaries were consulted. The majority preferred to be given their money. What other consultation was necessary? If anybody is aggrieved, let them appeal to Council by collecting signatures of at least 50% of the beneficiaries,” he said.

The university also phased out the internship allowance programme.

 

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