STUDENT leaders under their umbrella organisation, the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) want two representatives in parliament
By Cornes Lubangakene
STUDENT leaders under their umbrella organisation, the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) want two representatives in parliament.
The students came with this resolution during their annual general meeting held at Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School in Gulu on Friday.
The president of the association Lilian Aber says the students feel their interests are normally left out by the different youth members of parliament.
“The students said they should be represented in parliament by one female and one male Member of Parliament so that the issues affecting them can be directly presented by the real students who are there. Because they feel they are not having a close touch with the youth MPs because they are not tackling the education issues that affect them,” Aber said.
Aber said it was a good idea to bring the student’s MPs on board for consideration saying it is now left upon the government to see the technicalities for its possibility.
The meeting was held under the theme: The Role of Students in Ensuring a Violent Free Election.
Aber said: “Wherever there is violence during elections, the sector which is immediately affected is the education sector and the students are directly affected like many students dropped out of school due to the war in Northern Uganda”.
“So we are trying to be proactive as student leaders to ensure that the students are awaked on their role during this election process because we are vulnerable”.
She said it is therefore important that the students make decisions that would be of benefit to them.
UNSA deputy chairperson of the board of trustees Paul Amoru says the board will wait for the national executive committee of UNSA and advise accordingly.
“It is within their rights as the student movement to make proposals and as board, we normally guide. Some proposals are immediately achievable while some are part of the struggle. And if there is opportunity for that, we would wish them well but that would require constitutional amendment so that students would be included under the special groups,” Amoru said.
He said the students could have been inspired to come up with the resolution with the feeling that the current youth members of parliament largely deal with youth outside school in most of their programs and have little time to work with youth still in school.
Amoru however said the board does not have an immediate position on the student’s resolution awaiting NEC’s presentation of the resolutions to them and it will depend on the board’s decision whether to present it to the relevant authorities for consideration or not.
Relief and disaster preparedness minister Eng Hillary Onek said the students came out with their resolution late because the constitutional amendment has already been done.
“We have youth members of parliament and they are their representatives in parliament who could channel their issues to parliament,” Onek said.
Onek told the students to denounce leaders who come with wrong ideology to exploit the poor but look at focused leaders who have better ideologies to change the society for better.
The students among the twelve resolutions maintained that the body’s name remains UNSA while the president and speaker positions must come from among university students.
Students want representative in parliament