GCW TAYEBWA ORDERS MAK TO STOP GRADUATION FEES
By Mulengera Reporters
Government Chief Whip (GCW) Thomas Tayebwa, who is also member of Cabinet and Makerere Governing Council, has instructed Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe to act more innovatively and stop the practice of making students pay graduation fees. Speaking at the launching ceremony for the year-long festivities to mark 100 years of Makerere’s existence, Tayebwa demanded immediate stoppage of such exploitative fees suggesting that the same should at least be integrated to become part of the tuition fees students pay (to become an indirect cost). That this would mitigate the pain finalist students endure when asked or compelled to pay up such fees before their inclusion onto the graduation list can be assured.
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“I have already paid tuition fees, studied and passed my exams. Why would anyone stop me from graduating simply because I haven’t paid something called graduation fees? Please let’s abandon such charges because I can tell you as a leader who is part of government that the feedback which we keep getting from the public, parents and students indicates that those direct costs anger a lot of people,” said Tayebwa, a Makerere former students leader, who also represented Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, another illustrious OB for Makerere.
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The Ruhinda County MP commended the Nawangwe-led administration for improving service delivery in areas like prompt issuance of students’ transcripts asserting that such small things can cause a larger part of the population to behave resentfully towards not just Makerere but the entire government. Tayebwa, who currently is the biggest emissary for Makerere to the highest levels of government, also appreciated the current Makerere leadership for being accountable with the billions they keep getting from the state.
He said from the President to the Minister of Education Janet Kataaha Museveni, everybody in government is currently satisfied that (with Lorna Magara serving as Council Chairperson and Nawangwe as VC) every coin that is sent to Makerere is certainly put to appropriate use. He referenced on the Shs30bn that comes annually for research and another Shs365bn that comes annually with a larger proportion going into payment of staff salaries. The GCW, who coordinates the budgeting and appropriation process through Parliament which is just one of his many responsibilities, also made reference to the Shs21bn the government recently made available for the reconstruction of the Ivory Tower that was gutted sometime last year.
He challenged Nawangwe and Mubs’ Prof Wasswa Balunywa (who spoke during a panel discussion besides KCCA ED Dorothy Kisaka and University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda) to lead more innovatively so that their respective academic institutions are able to input into the thinking processes leading to deepened understanding of the GoU’s economic transformation programs such as the Parish Model. Saying he wouldn’t be even 5% of what he is today without Makerere impacting on him in the way it did, Tayebwa vowed to do everything within his power to ensure that the country’s Premier University gets all the financial support it requires from government to scale even greater heights not only regionally but globally. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org).