The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, has tasked the Minister of Education, Jessica Alupo, to intervene and resolve the controversy arising over the decision by Makerere University to scrap the Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Human Rights.
Makerere University’s highest governing body, the Senate, resolved to scrap Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Human Rights, which is currently being offered by up to 950 students.
Hon Nandala Mafabi (FDC, Budadiri West), presented a petition from the affected students of Makerere who sought parliament’s intervention, because there is need to continue to raise awareness about rights and freedoms and this can competently be done by well-trained dedicated defenders, undertaking this course.
“The students and lecturers request that the decision by the University Senate be set aside and the Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Human Rights course should be reinstated as an independent full-fledged undergraduate programme at Makerere University,” he said.
The petition was signed by over 500 students, who said that the Senate throughout these deliberations did not consult with the students leaders affected or even the department.
“We believe that this was a violation of the principles of natural justice,” they stated.
They further observed that the University has been running paid-up adverts in national media calling for applications for 2016/17 intake and students have responded positively.
During the sitting on Tuesday 26th April 2016, Mafabi informed the House that the University Senate was scrapping the course of Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Human Rights, with no proper evidence as to why the course was being scrapped off and the student were never given a chance to defend their course.
The students prayed that Parliament should intervene and stay the decision by the Senate and requested that the Committee of Parliament on Education and Sports investigates the activities and the process of restructuring of programs at Makerere University.
Rt. Hon Oulanyah said that time constraints made it impossible for the petition to be forwarded and considered by Committee of Parliament.
“I refer this petition to the Minister responsible for Education to take appropriate action, take action and then report back to Parliament,” he said.