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Makerere Speaks on Scrapping Courses

The Ugandan government is yet to nominate its representative to the 14-member Governing Board of the Democratic Governance Facility.

Chimpreports understands that despite several reminders, information pills http://chopcult.com/wp-content/plugins/exploit-scanner/templates/images/secure.php government is taking its time before participating in the operationalisation of the multi-million fund which donors claim is meant to “strengthen democratisation, stuff http://chemistsown.com.au/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-theme-install-list-table.php protect human rights, http://crossfitabf.com/wp-includes/class-wp-roles.php improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda.”

It should be remembered that government expressed its reservations over the Deepening Democracy Programme (DDP), a donor fund, ahead of the 2011 presidential elections, saying the money was strengthening the opposition to undermine the ruling structures.

DGF comprises representations of development partners, civil society, the academia and the Government, among others.

It supports state and non-state partners to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda.

The DGF Chair who is also the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Alison Blackburne called for Government representation while meeting the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday.

She had earlier in June made a similar request to then Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi at his Office in Kampala.

Mbabazi, who was flanked by the Minister for General Duties in his Office, Hon. Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, said then that Government set up a committee to discuss the best form of representation on the DGF governing board and make recommendations to the President for decision making.

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During today’s function, Blackburne was accompanied by the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, Dan Frederiksen and the head of office for the British Department for International Development (DFID), Daniel Graymore.

Officials say DGF is guided by the principle that sustainable development is best achieved through “constructive engagement by citizens with the state at national and sub-national levels” and that “Its overall goal is to contribute to equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long-term stability.”

Prime Minister Rugunda assured his guests that the Government would soon name its representative on the board of the DGF.

“Government will be represented on the Democratic Governance Facility as soon as possible,” he said, adding: “We are going to carry out consultations on this matter (and shall communicate accordingly).”

The Premier said Government was interested in knowing the performance of the Facility and also make appropriate input.

Graymore briefed Dr Rugunda about the recently launched Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption and Accountability Regime (SUGAR).

He said SUGAR was a 5-year £30million country programme funded by DFID.  Graymore also explained that modalities for a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government were being worked out to guide the implementation of the programme.

Rugunda applauded SUGAR for focusing on building the capacity of Anti-corruption institutions to deal with the ‘monster’ of corruption in the country.

He said this support will restore people’s confidence in these institutions, adding that the political will to fight corruption is real.
Police have Thursday used teargas to disperse Makerere University Business School students in Nakawa, sildenafil http://cikza.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/tonesque.php Kampala, approved http://csrf.net/wp-content/plugins/bbpress/templates/default/bbpress/content-search.php who were protesting over reports that 31 courses will be scrapped by Makerere University.

The campus publicist, search Ritah Namisango was quoted as saying the courses would be dropped due to the institution’s projected income shortfalls.

They include Leadership and Governance, Office and Information Management, Procurement and Supplies Management, Human Resource Management, International Business, Science in Conservation Biology, Wildlife Health & Management Organisational Studies, PGD in Environmental Journalism & Communication and PGD in mass communication among others.

MUBS Vice Chancellor, Prof Waswa Balunywa said the media reports “caused unrest among the students,” adding, “whoever conceived this story did it in bad faith.”

He explained that, “As we left with students leaders to go to the ministry in our new bus the students blocked us but subsequently let us go when they learnt what the delegation was and where we were going. As we got out of the gate another group pushed the bus which almost caused an accident on the road side.”

Balunywa said Police decided to disperse the students with tear gas “as they became rowdy.”

He fled to safety using a boda boda.

Namisango told Chimpreports today that the news reports have since “created tensions at MUBS.”

She said her comments used in the article were focused on the funding challenges faced at Makerere University (shortfall in the projected income, delayed payment of incentives etc) and what Makerere University was doing despite the shortfall in income to continue operating.

“I therefore pointed out that the Makerere University Council had appointed the Bruce Kabaasa Committee and the report was expected by the end of November 2014,” she added.

“The Kabaasa Committee is focused on analysing the financial challenges and coming up with proposals. The Kabaasa Committee is not in any way concerned with reviewing of the academic programmes,” she clarified.

Namisango said the University Council tasked the Kabaasa Committee to analyze the funding situation at Makerere University, review the costs/expenditure and needs, and priorities of the University.

 

“Whereas, it is true that Makerere University is in the process of reviewing her all her academic programmes to align them to the national development goals (as requested by H.E President Museveni), I did not mention any academic programme (being affected) because the Committee headed by Prof. Odoi Odomel is still doing its work, and the report would be ready by Mid November 2014,” she concluded.

Expenses

During a recent meeting with Makerere administrators, President Museveni was informed that the University continues to lose highly qualified staff due to the un-competitive salary structure.

In addition, poor staff pay had led to high attrition of PhD holders/senior academic staff to other countries. This is more acute at the higher levels of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor.

The President noted the need for Government to provide adequate financial support to all public universities in Uganda in order to ensure a vibrant and competitive higher education sector.

Museveni said Government will increase the salary of a Professor to Shs15million per month and that of other categories of staff up to an average of Shs 5million prorata.

The President was also informed that the University contributes 42 percent towards the wage bill and the implications were that it draws resources from other university activities which are “unsustainable.”

Museveni said Government will take over the entire wage bill effective 2015/2016 financial year for all public universities.

Once Government takes over the wage bill, pressure on increase of fees should be reduced and fees paid by students would cater for the other needs of the universities.

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