Student leaders at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) led by their guild president-elect Ms. Mariam Iculet Arikosi have appealed to the government to sort out salary issues for lecturers so that they can be taught.
This was communicated yesterday (9th/03/2021) during the press conference aiming at addressing the government and other stakeholders concerned with the ongoing industrial action of lecturers within public universities.
According to Iculet, meetings have been held with various stakeholders of the university with low yields and it’s time to appeal to the government to come up with a solution before the situation worsens.
“The university opened almost a month ago when the first-year students reported since then these students have gone through various challenges, online lectures being the main problem. This was followed by the ongoing lecturers strike. This has left all students helpless. We have engaged various stakeholders of the university, we were promised to start lecturers this week but it’s only a few lecturers that are teaching,’’ she explained.
Mulamuzi Greeven one of the GRCs requested for immediate action done by the government to come to their rescue because students are not being taught yet they are to pay the same functional and tuition fees.
“Our parents try as much as they can to raise our tuition. Currently we have been here for almost a month without lectures. It hurts to pay for services that we have not been given. We request the government to intervene in this matter because we are suffering,” he expressed his concern.
They requested compensation for time lost during the ongoing strike by extending the semester and also to deal with hostel owners on hostel fees in the extended period.
The student leaders also requested the government and university stakeholders to consider students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by giving them supplementary examinations.
According to them, many students were unable to sit for last semester’s examinations due to lack of tuition and others got retakes due to poor network connectivity, lack of funds to purchase data during online learning.
In conclusion, student leaders in other public universities that are being affected by the strike were called upon to join the campaign and demand their rights.