THE admission of students under the district quota system has delayed because the admissions board is awaiting a decision on whether new districts should be considered.
A source on the Public Universities Joint Admissions Board (PUJAB) says the board has written to the Ministry of Education seeking guidance on the matter. This comes after the Government last week announced plans to create 14 more districts.
If Parliament approves the proposal, which was tabled before the Parliament on Tuesday by local government minister Adolf Mwesige, the number of the districts will rise to 94 from the current 80.
The board is seeking guidance on seven of the new districts including those whose status will take effect in July. These are: Zombo, Amudat, Otuke, Lamwo, Kyegegwa, Buikwe and Buyende.
â€œIt is not yet clear whether all the districts including the new ones will get 11 students or if the number will be divided by all the districts. We have asked the ministry to clarify so that we can admit on time,â€ said an official.
The board earlier this month admitted government-sponsored students. The academic year for public universities opens on August 14.
There are five public universities in Uganda; Makerere, Kyambogo, Gulu, Mbarara and Busitema in Busia district.
An official at Makerere said the board will select names and the forward them for screening in their districts of birth.
State minister for higher education, Mwesigwa Rukutana was not available for comment.
The quota system is intended to ensure that all the districts send students to public universities on government sponsorship. Initial consideration is given to students who sat their Aâ€™ level examinations in their home districts.
If no one qualifies, or all the slots are not taken, then other students who hail from that district but sat the examinations from elsewhere are considered.
In the past two years, the scheme became a subject of an investigation after some students fraudulently gained admission. More than 100 students were later discontinued after it was discovered that they did not come from the districts under which they were admitted.
Last year, over 300 students were disqualified from joining public universities on the district ticket after it was discovered that they had submitted forged papers.
The ministry discovered that close to 50% of the students, some of them foreigners, had handed in fake documents to the universities admissions board.
The students forged birth certificates to gain admission even when they are not born from the students under which they were admitted.
Unscrupulous students usually opt for districts like: Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kapchorwa, Pader, Kaberamaido, Kabong and Katakwi, which usually have few or no students are qualifying to join the university.
District quota admissions delayed