All isn’t well at Muni University, one of the public universities in Uganda after Management revealed that students are likely to miss out on their graduation and promotion to next levels due to the Shs700M arrears in wages owed to staff.
While appearing before Parliament’s Education Committee to submit the University’s 2020/2021 national budget framework Monday, Rev. Epiphany Picho Odubuker, the University Secretary told MPs that the limited funds allocated to the University has crippled activities at the institution which is science inclined and in need of practical aids.
Pincho said that in 2018/2019 Parliament approved supplementary budget of Shs1.7bn but only Shs1bn was released, which money helped run the University but didn’t deter the University from accruing arrears.
“That money helped us complete the financial year but also, we still incurred arrears of Shs700M. If last year we survived on supplementary of Shs1bn and then how can we this year do without supplementary given there was no increase realized in the budget,” Pincho said.
He added: “If we don’t receive the supplementary we have requested for, we aren’t going to promote any students neither are we going to graduate any students. The science students have the recess term where they do internship and that also accounts for part of their results, they will not be able to do recess. Therefore, they will have missing marks that is why they will not be promoted, that is why none will graduate.”
Pincho also said that the nursing students go home with mothers who have delivered and nurse them as part of their training and this group too risks not graduating or promoted if the internship isn’t undertaken.
He cited the non-wage bill that was Shs3.4bn in 2015/2016 and maintained the funding at the same level for the following years, only for the said funding to reduce in 2017/2018 to Shs3.2bn and in 2018/2019 it is Shs4.4bn.
He said the funding isn’t commensurate with the increase in population, saying in 2015/2016 there were 90 students and less than 50 staff, but the number has now grown to 178 staff and the University expects over 400 students in the coming financial year.
“We can’t call Council or Senate to meet because how will you fund it? You can’t upload marks because they have to be approved by Senate because we have no resources to fund it,” he said.