Business grounded to a halt at Makerere University this morning following a demonstration staged by students over their internship allowances. The angry students stormed the Makerere University administration, demanding an explanation on the new policy on internship allowances.
Business grounded to a halt at Makerere University this morning following a demonstration staged by students over their internship allowances. Angry students stormed the university main administration block demanding an explanation on the new policy on internship allowances. It all started after Makerere University Council decided to scrap the collection of internship fees, starting this academic year.
A circular signed by Alfred Norman Masikye, Makerere University Academic Registrar says that students would only be required to pay their tuition and other university fees minus the internship fees. Masikye advises parents to avail the students the internship fees directly since the university will no longer collect it. It also informs students that second and third year students who had already paid the money, would have their internship allowance deducted by 200,000 shillings as administrative costs.
According to the old policy, each student would pay shillings 100,000 each semester as contribution to their internship fees. As a result, Makerere would give back between shillings 380,000 and 600,000 to each student as internship allowances. The decision to deduct 200,000 shillings from their internship allowances has not gone down well with some students. They argue that it would be unacceptable for the university to deduct their money under the guise of covering administrative costs saying that should be recovered from other fees.
Steven Okello, a third year social science student told URN that they were given shillings 380,000 last year from their internship allowance but he is not sure the remaining money will be released. He however welcomes the decision by the university council to scrap the money. John Nkugwa Mukiisa, also a third year education student is opposed to the new policy. Mukiisa says that it was wrong for the university council to scrap the collection of internship fees without consulting students saying that many of them have been finding it convenient to deposit their money with the university.
He explains that many parents may fail to raise the money when it is needed by students, saying the policy should be reversed. Meanwhile the rowdy students threw stones at Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, the University Vice Chancellor, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Kaweesi and Councilor Benard Luyiga, who had come to address the students. Standing on top of a police pick up truck, the trio had to move away for safety.
The students started throwing stones at the officials who were atop a police pick up truck forcing Kaweesi to order his men to fire teargas and disperse the demonstators. He later told URN, that he ordered anti riot police to act because he could not allow the university vice chancellor to be killed infront of him. At the time of writing this report, students were still engaged in running battles with anti riot police.