By Stuart Bogere
KIU, Main Campus - Moses Ariiho, the former Guild President of Kampala International University, has led a team students under their umbrella body - Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) - to petition Parliament over continued strikes by lecturers in public universities.
The students presented the petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, on Tuesday, 9th March 2021, saying that Parliament needs to check government programmes in regard to students’ welfare and academics.
Ariiho said that, “The lecturers have prolonged the industrial action and considering the time we wasted during COVID-19 lockdown, the students are suffering and losing more time."
The UNSA students are of the view that many institutions were closed and the government has encouraged electronic learning, which has ended up being for just a few that can afford.
Ariiho added that, “Many students lack gadgets, data and even network for those who are upcountry is an issue. We are praying that it is more effective to be in school with the help of the vaccine."
They cited many situations where schools increased their fees after their reopening and also noted that many young girls have dropped out of school due to pregnancy or early marriages.
Kadaga said that as Parliament, they would pressurize the Ministry of Education and the Committee on Education to see how they can handle the impact on the young people.
“The impact of closing schools has been big and it is a problem in many places and fortunately now there is a vaccine. The excuse of keeping students at home will be no more as they can be able to interact in class,” she said.
She added that parliament will continue to advocate for more internet so that all students can be able to access an education.