Police that was deployed at the university to supress the strike. The students say the new retake policy is hostile (file photo).
By Felix Ainebyoona
Mbarara — Business at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) has been paralysed after students protested a retake policy and what they term as poor welfare.
The students on Monday accused university authorities of introducing a costly retake policy.
They argue that prior to the policy, a student that failed an exam was required to sit a supplementary paper at no cost and a retake was only issued after that student failed a supplementary paper.
However, management wants the policy phased out and retakes be issued as it is in other universities.
The new policy requires a student to pay Shs200,000 in retake fees per paper failed.
“We raised our concerns to the vice chancellor who advised us to submit a written document after consulting with other universities. We carried out consultations and discovered that of all public universities, Kyambogo University was paying the highest retake fees of Shs30,000 and Gulu University was paying the lowest at Shs6,000. MUST, however, put the fees at a whooping Shs200,000,” Mr Ezra Niwamanya, the president of Private Students Association said.
He said that after writing to the management, the fee was reduced to Shs50,000 instead of the Shs20,000 they had requested.
Mr Niwamanya also argues that the policy that requires students who fail two papers to repeat the entire academic year is unfair and should be dropped.
The students also accuse the administration of failing to solve the problem of poor toilet facilities at the institution.
The toilet facilities, he said are in a deplorable state with water flooding floors every time.
The university public relations officer, Mr Denis Lukaya, declined to comment on the matter, saying he needed to consult the vice chancellor, Prof Celestino Obua.
Mbarara District Resident Commissioner Capt Martha Asiimwe who went to the university said police deployed after getting information that students wanted to demonstrate.