By Francis Emorut
ENTEBBE - A total of 251 students have graduated in land survey and management at the Institute of Survey and Land Management in Entebbe.
They were awarded diplomas in the second graduation ceremony in Wakiso district. Of the 251 graduands, 176 were male representing 60% while 75 were female making 40%.
With a population of 336 students, it is the only such institute in the country.
It was started by the colonial government (British) with the purpose of training some specialized technical staff in mapping the country so that the national maps and any relevant data are produced.
It currently offers courses in land surveying, cartography, physical planning and property valuation.
But presently, the government institute is grappling with a shortage of key facilities like a dining hall and a kitchen, which forces students to abandon food whenever it rains in pursuit of shelter.
The food is served in the open and is prepared in a makeshift kitchen.
“Ever since the institute was re-opened [in 2006] no dining hall or proper kitchen has been constructed,” the institute’s principal Pius Ocuwai told education minister Jesca Alupo and guests.
“Students have to line up in front of the makeshift kitchen in order to be served even if it’s raining,” said Ocuwai at the second graduation ceremony of the institute at its campus in Entebbe.
The principal also informed guests that the institute is doing badly in terms of classroom space.
“For ideal situation, more lecture rooms, computer labs, work studio rooms and equipment stores are needed to accommodate the surging number of students,” he said.
He drew laughter when he mentioned the boys’ and girls’ hostels are adjacent to each other, and according to him, needed to be separated.
“Another thing is that the girls’ hostel is very close to boys’ hostel. I suggest that a separate hostel should be built for girls some respectable distance away.”
He appealed to the ministry of education and sports to approve a grant for the institute to purchase training equipment such as Theodolites and other training material.
He advised the graduands not to be a problem in land matters but be the solution.
Responding to the principal’s concerns, minister Alupo said appropriate action would be taken by government especially on the question of the hostels.