Student leaders in higher institutions of learning have been urged to desist from inciting strikes in their respective institutions.
The call came through Dr Wilfred Nahamya, the deputy executive secretary, Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (Ubteb) during an address to guild presidents, prime ministers and Speakers to council of the various technical and tertiary institutions at Ubteb offices in Ntinda, Kampala.
Hahamya made the call came during a one-day leadership seminar by Ubteb in Kampala, where student leaders from tertiary and vocational schools. He acknowledged the influence of the student leaders in the institutions.
“You must use your positions to enhance the development of your institutions and the realization of your career and those of your friends.” Nahamya remarked.
He noted that sometimes the student leaders play to the gallery instead of providing direction to their fellow students on matters of interest to their schools.
“What, for example, does a shopkeeper in your neighbourhood have to do with your grievances at school that students should ransack his shop?” Dr Nahamya asked. “Why would a student in a higher institution vandalise window-and-door glasses of his very own lecture room?”
Nahamya emphasized that strikes do not only damage the reputation of the institution but also cause a disservice to learners, as the lost time would have been used to enhance their academic abilities.
He urged the leaders to always use amicable means to solve their challenges, as this would portray them as a people with a certain degree of maturity. The same call was also sounded by Dokolo North MP Paul Amoru, who asked the leaders to use the positions they hold to prove that they can be national leaders.
“You should be looking beyond the seats you hold now in your colleges; you can be councilors, members of parliament or even president, but that is only possible if you use your current offices to exhibit leadership,” the legislator said.
Amoru, who is a former guild president at Uganda Christian University, revealed that it was his guild office that laid ground for him to become a national politician.
He encouraged the student leaders to learn from people who have managed to lead their institutions without strikes. Amoru, also appealed to management of institutions to nurture leaders by building their capacity in leadership.
“Institutions ought not to stifle the capability of students to engage in leadership because participating in school politics exposes them to what leadership entails,” he charged. “You find an institution not allowing their students to engage in leadership; that is bad.”