Ssese Students Refuse to Call off Strike

5755 Views Kalangala, Uganda

In short
The strike started on Monday when angry students turned rowdy and started vandalizing the institution’s property to protest the decision by Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) to increase registration fees from 50,000 to 65,000 shillings.

A strike at Ssese Agricultural Farm School in Kalangala district has entered the third day as students protest high registration fees.
 
Attempts by the school management to convince students to call off the strike have failed.

The strike started on Monday when angry students turned rowdy and started vandalizing the institution’s property to protest the decision by Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) to increase registration fees from 50,000 to 65,000 shillings.

The angry students pelted their Principal Innocent Abaasa with stones and threatened to lynch him. The students accused Abaasa of imposing the registration fee without consulting them. Police intervened and fired live bullets in the air to disperse the students.

On Tuesday evening, Kalangala district officials including the District Education Officer Emmanuel Nseko and Bujumba County MP Fred Badda met the management of the institution in an attempt to end the strike.

The leaders also asked the Principal to explain how the registration fee was increased.

The officials and the school management later pleaded with the students to end strike and return to classes because the increment was made by Uganda National Examination board. Abaasa also showed Kalangala district education officials a document from UNEB indicating the fee increment. He denied personally increasing the money saying it was done at UNEB.

But by Wednesday afternoon, the students were still continuing with their strike. They refused to go for lessons and stayed in their hostels.

Rashid Muwanga, the institution’s Guild President, says they feel the money is too much. He says although they met the school management and the leaders promised to follow up the matter with UNEB, they feel they should go on with the strike to force UNEB revise the money.

Hamis Kaheru, the UNEB spokesperson told URN on phone that he could not comment on the matter before consulting. He promised to respond at a later date, saying he was still in a meeting.

Godfrey Matte, the Kalangala district police Commander, says police has restored calm at the institute although the students have refused to go for lectures.
 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.