By Andrew Irumba
The information reaching our news desk indicates that Makerere University Business School (MUBS) teaching staff have resolved to lay down their tools cum next week over failure by the school administration to increase their salaries, amidst COVID-19 lockdown hardships!
According to our impeccable sources, teachers contend that their salaries were supposed to have been revised at the beginning of the academic year 2019/2020 but they waited invain.
“Hello boss, we have put our online BCOM classes on hold until further notice due to the ongoing Mubs staff industrial action. We shall therefore not have our class tomorrow as earlier communicated. Please inform class members, sorry for the inconveniences caused,” read part of the chat in one of the students’ WhatsApp group our spy evesdropped.
“This was going to be the third week of online classes but less than 40% attend. Even those who attend, by the end of the session only 4 are available,” added another source on condition of anonymity.
We have also established that there has been a looming investigation at the University by Parliament in regards to internship placements. Infact Speaker Kadaga had ordered this week that the relevant committee of parliament picks interest in the complaints raised by students over the same. However, it’s said that senate sat very shifted and halted the internship exercise to ‘evade’ the probe.
“Re: Cancellation of 2020 Internship
Dear Academic leaders;
Whereas Senate, in the wake of COVID-19, had approved modalities for implementing Internship/ Field Attachment and Recess, with flexibility to allow students to carry out field projects remotely, while observing SOPs and utilizing available online and offline mechanisms; and whereas the Colleges were in advanced stages of starting Internship (and others having actually started in phases) – we are increasingly getting concerns, from some sections of the public politicizing the issue Internships,” read part of the letter to student leaders by the Vice Chancellor.
Some student leaders argued that the online course was just a means of making money from students by the school because they were not benefiting maximumly as students.
“First, Mak has never had ICT at the forefront of its services. Even at registration we are not required to present our laptops or have ICT skills. You very well know that not everyone owns a smart gadget. Thank God, we’ve been assigned email addresses however we’ve no Moodle Accounts where all our teaching materials can be circulated especially videos. I don’t think I would go down with my face and audio being circulated in a recorded e-classroom video.
Secondly, Students funded by scholarships are aware of the whole govt program. They’re not in anyway of loosing their scholarships.
Besides this should be a multi sectrol approach: Where and how will the second year’s conduct their research. Most companies/ organisations aren’t allowing outside people to enter their companies/organisations.
We should also be cognisant of the fact that online studies have some challenges such as the cost of data, unreliable electricity in different parts of the country and unstable network connectivity, there is no doubt therefore that these challenges are not only unmanageable but also outweigh the benefits that online studies will present.
This is a big policy issue where by it would be prudent for mgt to make clear communication to enable proper planning and adjustments and not rather leave students to guess what parts of their decisions mean, (will it be the modus operandi moving forward).
The administration should be solving our issues and not compounding them.
We’re all being baked for the same market, It’s better for all of us to move together and make sure that atleast no one is being left behind. I submit,” a student leader complained on their social media group. Watch the space….