Special Reports

NCHE On The Spot Over Students’ Shs4b

Education_Minister_Jessica_Alupo_154283307

prescription http://certifiedinspectorsgroup.com/wp-includes/comment.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The Guild Presidents’ Association of Uganda (GPAU), ask http://dejanmilutinovic.com/wp-content/plugins/unyson/framework/extensions/shortcodes/shortcodes/button/config.php an organisation that brings together student leaders from various institutions of Higher Learning in the country, has called Parliament to investigate the possibility of having students’ financial contributions to NCHE misused through corrupt tendencies.

“We do hereby express our dissatisfaction and rejection towards the Ministry of Education’s policy enunciated under Statutory Instrument No. 17 OF 2010 which requires that each student enrolled or intending to be enrolled in a University of Tertiary Institution pays Shs20,000 per year as contribution towards the NCHE,” reads part of the February Guild Presidents’ petition to Parliament.

According to the organisations’ legal affairs secretary Faisal Musiige, Parliament to address itself to the possibility of having public funds misused since its estimated that the total of students in Institutions of Higher Learning in Uganda stands at above 200,000, implying NCHE collects a staggering Shs4b.

Musiige says this money is being entrusted to an institution whose current annual budget for the Financial Year 2011/12 stands at Shs3b out of which the substantial amount is being provided for by the government which had released Shs1.8b by November last year.

“We are concerned about the possible misappropriation of the money we contribute directly to NCHE which is surplus to the NCHE budget considering that there is no agreed policy in place of how that money is to be utilized and for what specific activity or purpose,” the petition reads.

The student leaders further note the service which this money is allegedly for that is monitoring evaluation and regulation of institutions is already a core function of the NCHE prescribed for under the Universities and other tertiary Institutions Act “for which we vehemently believe, by necessary implication should be budgeted for and funded by the government.”

“We therefore see no reason why the council would continue to extort money from already constrained students.”

According to the petition, to monitor 31 Universities and over 170 tertiary institutions, an institution like NCHE needs to have experts or professionals in the relevant fields to be inspected.

“For example, there should be qualified medics to inspect medical institutions, senior legal practitioners to inspect law schools and the same applies to other disciplines. Therefore by imagining a total staff of less than 30 people at NCHE can do such a work is being too imaginary and complete joke,” the students’ leaders charge.

They also argue the Shs20,000 contribution policy is very unfair and extortionate in character.

“We are not only aggrieved by its apparent lack of worthiness considering that very few institutions have been monitored by NCHE but also the fact that monitoring institutions is a core function of the NCHE and by necessary implication it should be funded by government.”

Musiige says by formulating such policies designed to further drain the already financially constrained students and more so for ambiguous purposes, the government is failing its mandate of protecting students.

He says the organisation requests the policy withdrawn, the utilization of the monies so far collected investigated and NCHE be funded and aided to full capacity to execute its intended mandate.

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