Agriculture students at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara on Wednesday went on strike protesting the administration’s failure to give them practical lessons.
The strike started in the evening at the campus in Kakoba as the students marched while chanting and brandishing placards with angry messages.
These later turned violent and police was called in to block them from attacking the lecturers who were in a meeting.
They however broke through a police barrier into the gate and confronted their lecturers.
The students accused the University of spending a lot of money buying vehicles and organizing massive weddings for the university staff, price while paying no attention to their education.
“We pay a lot of tuition, page but we have never had practical lessons in two years. We are now about to finish our course and we don’t know what we are doing, sick ” Roland Amanya, a second year student of Agriculture and Community Development ranted.
“Students fail to get internship placements in recognized organizations because they are half baked. They don’t have hands-on training.”
The class coordinator in agriculture and community development Praise Akantorana, said they are supposed to do seven practical lessons but have not had any. Next exams are due early May.
He said, “We have decided we shall not sit any exams without practical classes.”
The university secretary Peace Tindyebwa who later on held a meeting with the students in the University Hall asked them to calm down, saying the issue was known to the university and being addressed.
“Before you started demonstrating we were already in a meeting and we have resolved that every lecturer must conduct their own practical lessons every semester,” Ms Peace said.
The university communications officer Ms Rose Rwankore dismissed students’ allegations that the university spends money on buying lecturers’ vehicles, saying we only spend money on things that develop the university and help the students.”