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Teargas, Bullets as Mbarara University Students Strike Against Online Lectures

On Thursday evening, the University’s Student Guild President-Elect, Mariam Iculet Arikosi held a closed-door meeting with the University Management and agreed upon five issues which she communicated to students in a letter.

MBARARA | UGANDA: Police in Mbarara spent most of the time on Friday in running battles with angry students of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) who who went on rampage protesting against lecturers’ prolonged lecture’s strike and unconditional online lectures.

Speaking to Daily Express, the students expressed their dissatisfaction with the on-going Academic Staff strike which has resulted in their not having classes for the last one and more month they have been at the university.

They added that since they reported back to the University on March 1st, lecturers have stayed away from campus as they strike against non-streamlined salary scales.

“Imagine how a student offering medicine can benifit from the Online teaching lectures? It’s two weeks here at campus, we haven’t seen any lecturer why are we paying the tuition fees” one of the demonstrating students questioned.

They are demanding for physical lectures and if on line they want the university to provide free internet.

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They say they will keep up the protest until the university administration works on their demands.

Over the week, students decried the on-going Academic Staff strike which resulted into no classes at all for some, and an online mode of learning for other select courses, most of which, are from the Faculty of Interdisciplinary studies.

On Thursday evening, the University’s Student Guild President-Elect, Mariam Iculet Arikosi held a closed-door meeting with the University Management and agreed upon five issues which she communicated to students in a letter.

Among the issues is the conducting of physical classes, extension of the semester with appropriate scheduling of lectures and exams, one-off supplementary exams during the academic year 2020/21 for individuals who missed final exams of Semester 2 Academic Year 2019/20, access to all university premises like Library, Computer Labs, physical classes, no additional tuition fees, functional fees and accommodation fees to people staying in University Halls of Residence.

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Arikosi, asked students to exercise great restraint and logic in their next course of action to facilitate the steps taken.

Despite the meeting and the letter, the students remained defiant and held a protest.

Angella Nakato, the communications officer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology wasn’t readily available for comment.

John Rutagira the Police commander says they were called in to calm the students who had started to burn tyres and looked like it was not a peaceful protest.

This, the students say, is contrary to the presidential directive to have classes fully resume on March 1st, and has limited them financially and academically.


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