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Gulu College of Health Sciences will reopen next week, two weeks after it
was closed following a strike.
On September 9, more than 300 students of the College protested
against the new fees structure levied by Management. According to the structure,
Diploma certificate private-sponsored students are supposed to pay 2.5 million
and 2.2 million Shillings for 1st and 2nd semesters respectively, while Government
aided students would pay 1.47 million and 1.27 million Shillings.
This prompted Jean Babalanda, the College Principal to seek the
intervention of Police who fired teargas to disperse the students to avert any
In her letter dated September 24 to parents and guardians, Babalanda
said she has received a directive from the Ministry of Education and Sports to
re-open the College on Thursday next week for continuing and finalist students.
“Each student is advised to report with enough hand sanitiser,
cloth masks, gloves, and medical masks for personal use while in classrooms, on
the compound, in hostels and clinical areas,” Babalanda’s letter read in part.
Babalanda also explained that a consent form has been sent to the parents and
guardians to sign with the students, which will be required on the reporting
The closure of the school was condemned by legislators from Acholi
who included Betty Aol Ocan, the Gulu City Woman MP and Gilbert Olanay (Kilak
South) and John Amos Oko (Agago South) under their umbrella body, the Acholi
Parliamentary Group – APG.
The MPs visited the College and later presented the matter on the
floor of Parliament as a matter of urgent importance, and sought the response
from, the State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo.
In his response, Muyingo said the unrest at the College started in
June with students protesting fees hike and poor feeding and he deployed staff
from the Ministry to investigate the students’ grievances and bring the impasse
to an end.
Gulu College of Health Sciences is a Government institution established in the
1950s as a midwifery school to train students in medical research and the health
system. The school is transiting to an allied health Institution training
producing professional health officers.
The College was transformed into a school for enrolled nurses and
midwives in the 1970’s and later a school for Medical Assistants in the early
1980s. It remained a school for Clinical Officers until 2016 when Diplomas in
Public Health Dentistry, Pharmacy, Health Service Management and Anesthesia
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.