and Joyce Namutebi
THE Government has halted all proposed increment of any fees in public universities and tertiary institutions until a justification is agreed on with all stakeholders.
In a statement to Parliament yesterday explaining the recent strikes in Makerere and Kyambogo, education minister Namirembe Bitamazire said the proposed increment that led to a strike in Makerere had not been discussed.
â€œThe disharmony at Makerere was a result of a remark about a study on the unit cost made before a parliamentary committee. We assure parents, students and the public that fees will not be increased any time soon,â€ Bitamazire said.
The Kyambogo administration, she added, issued circulars to continuing students with increased fees for field work compared to the sh100,000 that was in their admission letters, which led to the demonstration.
â€œWe have directed that the sh100,000 be maintained and assure the students and parents that there will not be any increments until 2012,â€ the minister added.
Asked by Soroti Woman MP Alice Alaso about the fate of over 2,000 students faced with dismissal from Makerere due to overstaying their courses, Bitamazire said the Universities and Tertiary Institutions Act gives them the power to dismiss such students.
â€œThe rationale is that knowledge should be continuously so that qualifications add value. Also areas of research may go out of date quickly and best practice dictates the review of curricular after three to five years,â€ she said.
Bitamazire added that each year, universities reassess the numbers of students in each class and space available in order to admit new students.
Overstaying by some would, therefore, affect the university capacity and progress.
The rules, she added, were reviewed in 2002 to allow for four extra years after oneâ€™s course duration and due notice is given to those affected before termination.
Govt stops Universities from increasing fees