There was heavy police deployment at Makerere University today as Semester One examinations got underway.
Most of the examination rooms visited by URN reporter had at least one police man from Field Force Unit of police commonly known for quelling riots. Several entrances had khaki uniformed policemen reinforcing local university security guards and plain-clothed security.
Despite the deployment, several students who were supposed to be sitting for their examinations were seen lining up at Senate Building to access their identity cards, one of the requirements for one to be allowed to sit for examinations.
Alfred Namoah Masikye, the University Academic Registrar said the deployment has been made to ensure no student accesses the examination premises without fully paying tuition fees.
Masikye says however that the security reinforcement was adopted in 2015 following large number of students who would forge or illegally sit their examinations without meeting their obligation.
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The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe appealed to sponsors and parents to pay tuition in time so that students do not get inconvenienced in times such as this period of examinations.
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A report by the university revenue collections unit - MURSU indicates that Makerere has up to December this year to retrieve money from student finalists who during their time of study were under-billed. The report indicated that 2.6 billion shillings was due from students but was not billed in the university system.
Statistics indicate that out of the budgeted 38,000 students for the 2016/2017 academic year, only 33,288 students had registered which is about 87.6 percent. Fully paid up students totalled only 27,244.
This is about 81 percent of the fully registered students while debtors were 6,064 students, or 18 percent of the fully registered students, owing the university 3.1 billion shillings.
According to Masikye, the university has been issuing identity cards to students since November 6 after serving those at Makerere University Business Bchool.
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Some of the students that URN spoke to expressed anger and dissatisfaction with the way staff issuing the identity cards handle them. Some of the students have been lining up to receive their Identity cards as early and 7am and they were still in the queue by 1 pm.
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Prof. Nawangwe says that the delay in issuance of Identity Cards was a result of late procurement of university materials to process the cards.
He however mentions that students are allowed to sit examinations even without Identity cards as long as they arm themselves with students' bio-data.