KOLE: College students call off strike after meeting stakeholders

Kole (UG):- Students of National Instructors College, Abilonino in Kole District have suspended their sit-down strike that started on Monday while protesting the delays in the release of their school practice allowances.

The students also accepted to later open the principal’s office that they reportedly locked and normal business at the college resumed. This is after a meeting with the commissioner of teacher education training, board members of the school governing council and security held at the school on Thursday.

The school practice allowances in question are meant to facilitate their accommodation and meals at schools during the practice.

Geoffrey Kidega, the Guild president of NIC-Abilonino said students were dispatched to different parts of the country for practice but were not facilitated.

‘’What hurts the students more is how the principal responds to our call. Dr Dinavence once asked about the school practice money instead of giving a convincing response end up insulting whoever asked, Kidega said.

According to Kidega, as student leaders, they want the school practice allowances given to the students before they go back for a holiday that is about three weeks time. He said they are ready to repeat the strike if their requests are not responded to within the stipulated time.

The commissioner of teacher education training, Joseph Kikomeko said the ministry is working on the delay in the remittance of school practice NIC-Abilonino.

He said their investigation found that the strike at NIC-Abilonino emancipated leadership challenges when the college administrator failed to convince the students.

“The cause for all these was failure of the college to pay their practice allowance. This money by the time the student went for practices wasn’t available but they will get the money as soon as possible when the money avail,” Kikomeko said.

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The school principal, Dr Dinavence Arinaitwe denied the students’ allegations and said the school is constrained by finance.

She noted that her work is to coordinate the lower and upper leadership of the college where she was implementing the board of governing council priorities of servicing bus loans to paying school practice allowance.

“The ministry did not send us the money for practice allowance because the commissioner said it is due to financial constraints. As the commissioner made it clear to them in a meeting, they will be paid their money as soon as the Ministry of Education gets the money and sends it to us,” Arinaitwe said.

The Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Kole District, Mr Gabriel Etesot Okurut thanked the students of NIC-Abilonino for not causing destruction to the college properties and urged them to remain calm and peaceful.

“As security, we are happy for students for being peaceful and we have appealed to them to continue focusing on studies instead of things that ruin their future,” Etesot said.

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He said after listening to the students’ grievances, as security they will take keen interest in student’s issues that need investigation and forward them to IGG.

By Thursday evening, police were still deployed for patrolling at the school were withdrawn.

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