Special Reports

Makerere students petition parliament over scrapped courses

Makerere University students have petitioned parliament over the administration’s decision to scrap 32 courses.

Ethics and Human Rights, one of the courses the university intends to scrap today petitioned Parliament to stay the execution of the decision.

In a petition tabled in Parliament by Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West legislator, the students claim Makerere did not allow them to make a case for retaining the course, which the latter intends to stop next month (May).

The students on April 18 protested the institution’s decision.

According to Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu, the vice chancellor, some of the courses have either been merged, dropped or restructured to give a holistic training to graduates.

“About 32 courses were scrapped and others merged. The decision was reached on Thursday. Students protesting need to understand that curriculum reviews are done after every five years,” he said, assuring affected students that the continuing ones and those joining the university this year will not be affected.

However, some of the affected students like those pursuing Bachelor of Ethics and Human Rights maintained that scrapping their courses will affect their bargaining power in the job market when they complete school.

“We don’t see why they should remove our course. Our status in the public is at stake because when we go looking for jobs, they will be branding us as people with duplicated courses,” a third year student, who declined to be named said.

Prof Ddumba explained the decision follows a report by a committee set up the Makerere University Council years ago.

The report recommends that 30 degree programmes be merged, 18 be restructured while 21 undergraduate diplomas, 11 undergraduate certificates and three degree programmes be phased out.
Chaired by Prof Richard Odoi Adome, the committee reviewed all undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes, identified duplications, possible mergers and economic viability and relevance.

They are also expected to look at the unit cost for each programme, staff teaching loads and submit findings in three months.

The findings will then be presented to President Museveni who had directed the institution’s management to review its academic programmes and establish a unit cost for training a student on their various courses.

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