Thursday, 7 May 2009

Stomachs Rumble at Makerere

Not for the first time the university administration is threatening to stop providing free meals for students on Government scholarships. The above cartoon is the take on the situation by Mr Ras, the New Vision's often inspired cartoonist.

In other news lecturers are likely to hold exam marks hostage until salary arrears have been cleared. The situation prompted a stinging editorial in The Daily Monitor:

The long-term solution is to run Makerere like a private university. It must be allowed to charge, within reasonable ranges, fees that allow it to return value in the form of good education. The government should scrap its sponsorship programme and replace it with a student loan scheme which beneficiaries have to pay back.

This way, Makerere shall have a predictable and sustainable source of funding and shall have a vested interest in providing quality education, say by paying lecturers well and on time, in order to attract top students. The students, with their loans in mind, will also ensure that they demand and get an education that allows them to succeed on the outside.

Other private universities in Uganda do not have Makerere’s chronic financial woes and are catching up on quality. It is time for the Ivory Tower to learn a few tips from the new kids on the university block.

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