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Written by Semboga Roy, Makerere University Guild Aspirant

Arguably, graduation day is the most eagerly anticipated day for any campuser. Be that as it may, many of our friends have come to regret graduating from Makerere.

DELAYS IN TRANSCRIPT ISSUANCE:
Tumuhaise Blaise, a 2014 graduate of Forestry and an academic high-flyer, lost out on his scholarship to Japan after the university failed to release his transcript on time.

Ssemitala Hannington, a former GRC for the School of Biomedical Sciences lost out on a job opportunity he had gotten with the Infectious Disease Institute after the university failed to produce his transcript on time, consequently losing out on a mouthwatering UGX 5M in work allowances and a nice car, an opportunity not so many graduates get knocking at their for door.

No offence but if students from small universities like Bugema and UMU graduate with their transcripts, why is the same arrangement impossible for Makerere? Blaise and Hannington are some of the case studies highlighting the danger of Makerere’s failure/laxity to issue academic transcripts within reasonable time following one’s graduation.

MANY STUDENTS MISSING FROM GRADUATION LISTS:
As of today, the list of students awaiting graduation towards the end of January is officially out but so many supposed graduates appear no where on the list yet they have their full results at the colleges. To highlight this issue let me cite for you a few examples.

From CHUSS, 350 students’ names are missing from the graduation list. At FEMA they’re 141. At Sch. of Law they’re 17, etc. In relation to that, students at FEMA and the College of Educ. and external studies always take ages before their results can be released, contrary to the requirement in the prospectus that results must be released two weeks after the beginning of a new semester. Or maybe the prospectus doesn’t apply to theses two colleges?

It should be noted that apart from legitimate claims by the University concerning students who are missing from the graduation list due to unpaid debts, an explanation remains begging in relation to the other fully paid up students whose names are mysteriously missing from the graduation lists.

From the information I’ve dug about, it has been brought to my attention that much as the students’ results are there at their respective Colleges, the same cannot be uploaded onto the central Senate system because it crashed and as such, the Academic Registrar cannot upload the names. Seriously, what is the issue with our prestigious Makerere? For how long must we be taken for granted?

With the system down, students can’t be issued with testimonials so they can’t apply for internship placement. How much more must we continue to lose out on?

Another reason advanced for the exclusion of qualified graduands from graduation lists is that some unscrupulous people hacked into the system last year and altered their marks. How that is related to non inclusion of otherwise duly qualified graduands requires the expertise of a medicine man to explain.

ENTER TUITION POLICY:
Remember, the university requires each private student to have paid 60% of tuition by the 6th week and 100% by the tenth week. But it’s on record as exemplified by the Blaise and Hannington cases that even at the time of graduation, the university’s execution of 100% of its obligations towards the student remains pending.

The university has no moral authority to impose on us an unfair tuition policy and push it down our throats if it ALWAYS fails to meet its own obligations to us.

Failing issue a graduand their transcript on time condemns them to fruitless job searches and loss of other opportunities. For how long must this go on?

WAY FORWARD:
The point is simple: the university must meet its own end of the bargain.

Transcripts should be ready by graduation day.

Issues of missing marks should be handled expeditiously.

We demand accountability from the university in which we are the main shareholders, for we deserve much, much better.