MAK Management Sets Reopening, Graduation Dates

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In short
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration told URN in a phone interview that the university management has proposed January 2, 2017 for students to resume studies. He adds that students will be granted a break of one or two weeks before reconvening for the second semester.

Members of Makerere University Management have suggested that the university reopens on January 2, 2017 following two months of inactivity.

The management committee made the suggestions in a meeting held early today in the University Council Room.  Their suggestions are however awaiting the approval of the University Council.

This comes two days after lecturers under the Umbrella; Makerere University Academic Staff Association -(MUASA), called off a strike that paralyzed Uganda's leading institution resulting into its closure.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) told URN in a telephone interview that the university management has proposed January 2, 2017 for students to resume studies. He adds that students will be granted a break of one or two weeks before reconvening for the second semester.

"Our proposals were premised on the assumption that the visitor (President Yoweri Museveni) gives council a go ahead to open the university this weekend.  Our proposal was that in case that happens, students would resume studying on January 2," Prof Nawangwe said.

Prof Nawangwe added that the 67th graduation ceremony will not take place within the stipulated dates.

"We cannot keep the original dates for graduation. Our proposal is that if we open on January 2, we would hold graduation in the last week of February and first week of March."

The graduation ceremony was planned to take place between Monday January 16 and Friday January 20, 2017. URN has learnt that At least a total of 12,453 finalists at Makerere University are expected to graduate as soon as the University reopens.

The university was closed indefinitely by President Yoweri Museveni in November 2016, following a series of strikes by lecturers and a parallel strike by students who were demanding to have lectures.

The staff went on strike on October 25 demanding for their incentive arrears that had not been paid since February 2016. The incentive is an additional financial package given to members of staff  for undertaking extra duties. Such duties include among others, teaching evening and weekend classes. 

The arrangement which started in 2013 has seen lecturers earn incentives amounting to 70 percent of their monthly salaries. The university pays up to 4 billion Shillings every month in incentives to it's over 2,600 members of staff.

However, the university council had suggested earlier that the allowance be slashed by 75 percent on ground that it is not sustainable. The proposed reduction and the unpaid arrears amounting to 28 billion Shillings sparked off the lecturers strike.

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba