Monday, 24 November 2014

HIT THE ROAD

It has turned out to be the only way out for all campusers like they love to be referred to as. It is very absurd a fact. You may think there is only one course unit that all universities share in the name of Communication Skills but somehow, Introduction & Sustaining Strikes has made its way to the various universities' curriculum in Uganda. Makerere University is always striking for any reason possible, yes, even no TV chicken stalls in Wandegeya can spark off a strike. Kyambogo University always takes the liberty to follow in MUK's steps. Not to so long ago, Busitema was at it because of reduced allowances. It was originally a Government Universities thing until just under a week ago when two privately owned universities i.e Ndejje & Nkumba were closed (until further notice) in the space of less than 24 hours.

Unlike the possibility of having students retake "Comm Skills," campusers seem to ace at Strikes, be it peaceful or violent. It is rather appaling so much so that if there happens to pass a semester without one, that semester is rather fruitless. There is a always an affirmative response to a strike cry. Student have staged demos & strikes giving all kinds of reasons.

How justifiable are these strikes?? Are the students at will to stage stikes? Just like any other life scenario, it is a Yes/No situation.

Primarily, students are major stake holders in any university, therefore there arguments always hold water, by default. It is obvious students can't opt to strike if the welfare and education atmosphere is condusive. That only spells out that the University administration is pushing the students to the edge and leaving them with ONE WAY out, to go "Weeewe." It has turned out that the various university adminstrators will turn a deaf ear to student concerns until the latter turn violent.

An easy case study would be the recently closed Ndejje University. The administration had increased late registration fees from UGX 50,000 to UGX 100,000 then to UGX 200,000 in the space of two days. Similarly, there was a late clearance fee that was escalating in the same ranges as late registration fee. The students got concerned and forced an explanation from the VC. He promised them feedback on Thursday, 20th November, 2014 at 7:30am just before lectures could start. By the time it clocked midday, there was no sign of the Vice Chancellor, apart from the rain dispersing the then furious students. It was at this moment that they took matters into their own hands and forced action from the administration by getting violent. Not even the heavily deployed police & pouring rain could stop Ndejje Students from the chaos.

Though their actions prompted a quick reaction, it was rather to haphazzard and may turn out costly in the long run: many glass structures suffered from stones flying from all corners and it is the students who are going to meet the costs. As if that is not enough, they were sent back home yet they were meant to start exams three days later. This will only disrupt either the festive season or the second semester.

There seems to be no common grounds for happiness at any institution and such is the mafia ruining the chance most of us would love to grab and attain a decent education. The rampant occurrence of strikes though, is trying to point out somthing that I may not be in place to decode right now but when I do, I will be back with exactly that!

Stay blessed!!!