MBARARA – The Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, has warned staff at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) against sabotaging the institution’s progress through strikes.
MUST has of recent been rocked by strikes, with staff taking the top management, including Vice Chancellor, Prof. Celestino Obua, to court accusing them of mismanagement.
“It’s sad to note that some members of staff want to sabotage the progress of this university. The use of intrigue, malice and sabotage and other reactionary methods of work here must stop immediately. They are organs of the university and government that can be used for constructive engagement in case of disagreements,” Ms Museveni said.
She made the remarks said in a speech read on her behalf by the State Minister for Higher Education, Dr Chrysostom Muyingo, during MUST’s 26th graduation ceremony on Saturday. A total of 1031 students were awarded degrees and diplomas in different disciplines.
The First Lady said that the rising number of education institutions calls for strict adherence to quality in order to realize the importance of their existence.
“Higher education is a critical aspect in transformation of knowledge into goods and services, essential in welfare and humanity but the rising numbers now demand councils and management of these institutions to strengthen quality assurance systems to make our institutions globally and international competitive,” Ms Museveni said.
She acknowledged that public institutions of higher learning don’t get adequate funding but added government remains committed to proving the resources especially to those teaching science and technology.
She said they must reciprocate by offering quality skills to transform communities.
Prof. Obua said the situation at MUST is like giving some land to till without tools. The university cannot employ more staff or promote the existing ones due to lack of funds.
“The teaching situation here is like giving someone land to till with hands. As a farmer would need tools to till land, it is the same with us here. Honourable minister, the matter of shortage of teaching staff should be tabled to Cabinet. We know her decisions can be made quicker. Lack of promotion (of staff) also does not reflect well the image of the university and the education sector,”Prof. Obua said.
Mr Muyingo said he has noted their concerns and would present them to the ministry of education for action.