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Makerere University runs out of cash to feed gov’t students

Makerere University

Makerere University

Makerere University does not have money for food and accommodation allowances for the more than 10,000 government-sponsored students next academic year. 

The initial allocation of Shs 3.35 billion was reportedly diverted, on the advice of the government to cover other priority areas in the running of the university. A report by the finance, planning, administration and investment committee of the university council, shows that the re-allocations were in compliance with recommendations of the education and social services committee of parliament for a diversion of funds towards unfunded priorities. 

The report shows that the university received a communication dated June 18, 2019, requiring management to adjust the 2019/20 financial year budget in favour of a plan to procure equipment for the Dental School, which was facing pressure not to admit students under the prevalent conditions. Other unfunded priorities included the renovation of toilets in halls of residence and equipping the school library. 

The university identified food and accommodation allowances as a lesser priority compared to the other unfunded areas. In the changes, Shs 285 million was diverted from the allowances vote and allocated to the Dental School. Another Shs 1. 8 billion was allocated towards equipping the university library while Shs 1.5 billion was allocated to the renovation of toilets in the halls of residence.   

Makerere has a total of 10,091 government-sponsored students. Of these, 4, 089 students, who reside outside the university premises, receive a living out allowance at a rate of Shs 432,750 per student per semester.   

The university spends approximately Shs 7.19 billion on student food and about Shs 4.76 billion on living out allowances making a total of Shs 11.96 billion on welfare for government students.   

Although corroborated information suggests a Shs 3.36 billion cut and reallocation of the funds to the selected priority areas, the university’s 1st deputy vice-chancellor for academics professor Umar Kakumba insisted that this money was not touched.      

"Student living out allowance is money sent by government under the vote called non-wage. We submit the budget and then that money is put into the budget. That money is completely different. This was another vote which has a number of items including teaching materials. Teaching materials can be reagents, they can be stationary, they can be specimen, the equipment. It has nothing to do with the students allocation." Kakumba said.  

Pius Mbeera, the Makerere University Government Students Association (Mugosa) president said the student's body was still unaware of the development.  


+3 #1 Akao 2019-07-17 19:55
Some of the problems that institutions in Uganda run into are very easy to solve.

That government sponshorship need review already. Most of the students on government sponshorship come from well to do families, why should the government house and feed them on top of paying their tuition.

This government send their stupid MPs all over the world to learn but what do they learn? In a functional country scolarships are for few exceptional students but not all children who come from well to do families
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+1 #2 rubangakene 2019-07-17 22:13
Are you being serious; what are the ten 10,000 students really studying in this "bloated institution"?

Why not raise the hurdle of entry to dwindle down the number to maintain high international standards.

I see them every evening drinking and dancing in exotic places instead of studying. We need a strong leadership to cleanse this place; discard dubious courses that doesn't help Uganda, trim the administration (go digital), sack part-time lecturers and those who have got other jobs on the side.

The government should also think seriously about degree courses and instead concentrate on regional colleges of appropriate technologies that impart hands-on knowledge/skills (apprenticeships) that will benefit the country in the long run.

You just have to look at the German and other education systems that embraces both approaches.
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+1 #3 Odongkara 2019-07-18 06:01
"The university identified food and accommodation allowances as a lesser priority compared to the other unfunded areas......... In the changes, Shs 1.5 billion was allocated to the renovation of toilets in the halls of residence."

In the Uganda of Museveni students' food and accommodation not a priority seriously????

And why allocate a whopping shs 1.5bn for "toilets?" Can toilets be used without having eaten? In our Uganda of today things are done upside down anyway. "Operation Wealth Creation" is where the"priorities" are found.
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0 #4 Cj 2019-07-18 11:24
Toilets in halls of residence are in a poor state that could risk cholera outbreak.

I wonder why toilets are unfunded in the first place.
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0 #5 kabayekka 2019-07-18 16:16
Lucky indeed for these government students of over 21 years old who are waiting for a free meal from the government of Uganda.

They should have learnt a lesson or two that the tax payer does not owe them a living. The United States of America as it celebrates its efforts to go to the moon it used to believe that all those countries that it helped to win the wars of Europe would help it to go to the moon.

Not at all. They had to do it themselves. If these educated students do not take over this university for their own good, one wonders who is going to help them.

Education is an effort. Look what has happened to the soil from moon that was given out to all the countries of the world? Has this famous university of Makerere ever seen these samples and used them in their libraries to make a study of them?
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0 #6 kabayekka 2019-07-19 00:07
Taking aside the starvation going on in the famous university in this country, has this African country's museum got these soil samples for the public to educate itself in this modern age?

Is there any advertisement for the education institution in this country to come over and borrow these samples so that they can further their universal education?
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0 #7 mwebaze reagan 2019-07-19 09:16
This is not surely true and not easy to believe if someone says that government students money should be allocated to other things including toilets being a priority at the expense of students accommodation and feeding, the question at the back of my mind do budget planners consider and put in mind of students from odd families who could not be in position to finance themselves from any institution.

l believe that such acts with out consideration of the student body will always put the institution on stake of every day violence. this is surely alarming because if the students were not satisfied with what has been always provided then what will happen when this money is allocated to other issues when students were in need of increment.

the government and student leadership body and the management of Makerere should revise themselves to ensure that a semester commences in peace.
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