examination season at Makerere University has ushered in anxiety among students
especially finalists who are finding it hard to clear tuition. According to the
university policy, each student is required to clear their fees balance before
they receive permits granting them permission to access examination room.
examinations started on May 24th, 2021 and are expected to run until
June 19th, 2021. However, many parents are struggling to clear tuition
of because of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, which affected most of their
businesses and jobs. Besides, some of the students too lost their income
generating avenues during the same.
The lock down also came along with effects such as online
study program and increased use of handouts than before since students were
away from campus as part of the COVID-19 control measures. Lectures have been
ongoing online on zoom, Google meet and MUELE, which are online meeting
This meant that students would spend on average Shillings
2000 daily for a single lecturer while handouts cost the students from
Shillings 200 to Shillings 10,000 depending on the thickness. This was in addition
to the tuition for most courses a minimum of Shillings 1 Million
Mercy Aciro, a third year student of Bachelor of Education, says there is need
for the university to give them a grace period to clear tuition this time round
especially that some students have been struggling to spend on online lectures.
//Cue in: “Even when you…
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Fahad Lwasaka, who is pursuing a bachelor in Bio medical laboratory technology,
gave up his part time job that used to partly pay his tuition. Much as he
needed the job, transport to his work place increased after the lock down and
he could no longer afford it.
To him, he wishes the administration could grant them
a grace period since individual negotiations with the university Bursar to
permit one without full payment are usually difficult.
//Cue in: Because I remember…
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Esther Namulinda, another student says that her plea is that those that have
been able to raise at least part of the tuition should be permitted to sit the examinations
this time round.
//Cue in: “There is no…
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The university guild president, Ivan Ssempijja has petitioned the
administration to grant students a grace period of seven days as they sit the exams
and find tuition. He reasons that students that have been able to clear 60% of
the tuition be permitted to pay up the rest next semester.
The Vice Chancellor could not comment on the petition as he was attending an
engagement. However, the office of the academic registrar who was copied in to
the petition noted that the grace period is always granted to sponsored
students by different entities who usually write to them requesting for more
time whenever needed.
In February 2021, students petitioned the academic registrar to have late
tuition payment charges withdrawn to, which he responded positively, “This is
to inform you that there will be no late registration /surcharge for this
semester for now and the functionality has been removed from the students’
portal. This is in regard to the Communication to Students regarding fees
payment for Sem I 2020/21”