Following the demand by students for exams to be extended and threatening to strike if this is not honored, Makerere University management has pushed exams which were due to begin today (Monday) by five days.
In a notice issued Monday April 29 to all students, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said the examinations will instead begin on Saturday May 4. This followed a meeting held between the university management, the Guild President and the Guild Cabinet.
The basis of the extension is the month-long strike by lecturers and administrative staff which occurred at the start of the Semester in January, which deprived the students of the time for normal learning.
In his notice, the Vice Chancellor has said; “it has been agreed that due to the standoff at the beginning of the semester, the examinations timetable be adjusted as follows: all examinations have been moved to start on 4th Saturday 2019”.
“All exams that were due to take place on the affected days (Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May 2019) be reprogrammed by concerned Colleges,” the notice adds.
All coursework (assignments and tests) due this week must be completed between Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May 2019 without fail, the VC directed.
He said there will be no extension of the semester dates and that the closure date is maintained.
On Saturday, the Makerere University Guild President, Julius Kateregga told SoftPower News that students were planning to go to strike on Monday if the Management refused to extend the Semester by two weeks, to compensate for the time students lost when lecturers and administrative staff went on strike.
Kateregga said that Management had disregarded the request by the students to have the date for beginning end-of-semester examinations extended by two weeks.
It followed a decision by Management that there would be no extension of the semester except for three Colleges; the School of Law, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) and College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB).
“We are not asking for an extension of the Semester. We are entitled to it. There was an impasse [strike] at the start of the Semester, as students, we lost a month of our normal time. That (time) was never recovered,” Kateregga told this news website on Saturday.
He said the GRCs (Guild Representatives to Council) recently sat and took a vote on the issue and the resolution was to have the Semester extended across the board, and not just for select Colleges.
“Management has refused to grant that. We have negotiated and we feel like we have been disregarded. Now that this has failed, the last resort is always use of force,” the Guild President said..
“We as the students’ community have written to the VC informing him that we are not ready until the 13th day of May to be examined. If examinations are maintained on Monday, we are going to strike. That is our position”.
“Let them [Management] call the lecturers and examine them on Monday. It wasn’t our fault that they went on strike, it was their infighting,” Kateregga added.
In January this year, staff, both administrative and academic at Uganda’s oldest and biggest institution of higher learning went on strike that lasted a month, demanding among others the lifting of suspension by the Vice Chancellor of the Chairman of the academic staff (MUASA), Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi and two other staff Association leaders.