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Domba Julius and Makerere University Guild President Kateregga Julius

Makerere University is currently under siege with the military brutalizing students, many are incarcerated up to now even with a court order that ordered police to release all detained students unconditionally.

It’s a shame and risk to the rule of law where court orders are defied waiting for one person give orders and that’s none other than president Museveni who is currently out of the country for the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi.

As Makerere university students are striking against the 15% tuition increment, it should come to our notice as Ugandans that students are 100% right given that Makerere university is a public institution. All parties concerned should revisit the aims of education in Uganda one of which is “To eradicate illiteracy and to equip the individual with basic skills and knowledge to exploit the environment for self-development as well as national development, for better health, nutrition and family life, and the capability for continued learning.”

The student’s protests are mainly a manifestation of failure of education managers to relate their services with the status of the students. They should forget that we are in Africa. The riots are an illustration of frustration with poverty.

There is no way our aims will move from basics to advance with costly education services among extremely poor African students. Self and national development is impossible with unaffordable tuition. While speaking to the media, Makerere vice-chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said students should cherish and not de-campaign the tuition increment because it was passed by the university council.

Why does the vice-chancellor think, decisions from the university council can’t be recalled, cannot be resisted? The same decisions according to insiders, it’s the president to give an order for such decisions.

Low tuition in public universities is a necessity in order to address inequality in accessing educational services between the poor and rich. The poor should also be in position to access the top university so as to have social mobility.

All Ugandan students should stand against this hot issue of the 15% tuition increment at Makerere. We have a fear that it might spread to all public universities. Students like me may not be in position to continue with studies. Salute to all who can stand for us all.

Julius Domba The Author is second year science student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology
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