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Makerere sued over scrapped courses

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th September 2010 03:00 AM

THIRTY-THREE students have sued Makerere University for scrapping the education masters programme.The students filed their petition on Thursday last week at the Kampala High Court through Lukwago and Company Advocates.

By Andante Okanya

THIRTY-THREE students have sued Makerere University for scrapping the education masters programme.The students filed their petition on Thursday last week at the Kampala High Court through Lukwago and Company Advocates.

They are seeking for a judicial review of the decision, saying the courses should be re-instated to enable them complete their studies.

They were admitted this year in July and August, and they embarked on their studies on August 14.

Makerere University recently suspended some of its higher education courses saying it lacked teaching staff. In addition, the university also phased out some courses which were deemed not relevant.

In May this year, the Makerere University Senate approved the phasing out of 20 courses of the 46 which had been condemned by an ad-hoc committee set up by the vice-chancellor, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba.It cited duplication of courses.

But the students are challenging the decision, and want court to quash the decision, arguing that they were never consulted.

They were pursuing programmes in Masters of Arts in Higher Education Studies, Master of Education in Science Education, Master of Arts in Language Education, Master of Education in Curriculum Studies, Master of Education Foundations, and Post-Graduate Diploma in Education.

They are seeking a court injunction “restraining the university management from scrapping or phasing out” the said programmes before they complete their studies.

They also want a court order compelling the university management “to allow the admitted students on the said programmes to continue with their studies.

The petitioners also to be awarded damages for inconveniences caused to them, and also for court to compel Makerere to meet the costs of the petition.

The petition is supported by a sworn affidavit of one David Natiko, a member of the group. It will be relied on during hearing.

Natiko contends that management’s decision was reached “without considering its implications” in as far as the respective careers of the applicants.

He also contends that management acted “without due regard to the relevant laws and rules of natural justice.

The petitioners further contend that in an impromptu meeting held on September 17, they were shocking when informed by the deputy vice chancellor Prof. Lilian Ekirikubinza, that the courses they were admitted to “were not valid”.

They say she did not give them a clear explanation but only advised them to apply for a refund of their admission and tuition fees that they had paid.

The students argue that the decision has led then to suffer “mental anguish, psychological and emotional stress” since many of them had resigned their jobs and shifted from their usual residences to rent near the university so as to concentrate.

They accuse management of dishonesty, saying the university has continued to issue admission letters to the same programmes, with the latest having been issued on September 20.They have attached a copy of this letter as part of the evidence to be used.

Asked on Saturday by the New Vision whether Makerere had been served with the notice of motion to be sued, the spokesperson Ritah Namisango, said she would contact the legal office for details today (Monday).

“I am not aware of that but will contact the legal office for a briefing on the matter on Monday,” she said.

Makerere sued over scrapped courses

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