Views from Fiona: Makerere University is a Mess
A scene in Kampala today.

Views from Fiona: Makerere University is a Mess


It seems like corruption is no longer "corruption" in Uganda. It is simply business as usual; a way of life. And it is not only the politicians we are talking about. Fiona explains...

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: October 3, 2005


Makerere University has always appeared in the press for not so good deeds, but thatís routine at Ugandaís oldest university. The not so new university chancellor Prof. Luboobi is doing just what his predecessors did. That is nothing. He has done nothing to change the university image that has gone to the dogs in recent times. All sorts of mess surround Makerere and its staff that one wishes the university were privatized so that it can produce better services. The bureaucracy is too much for those who went to the university in the late 90s up to today. Registering is a hassle, and when you manage to complete the studies, getting a transcript is next to milking a stone.


Sarah, a colleague, narrated to me her ordeal while trying to secure her transcript, which was worse than any of the ordeals I went through. Her woes began the day she logged in her clearance papers for her academic transcript to be processed. Level 5 Senate building, where the transcript office resides, is a total mess. The staff arrive early to their duty station at about 11 am, break for lunch at 12:30, come back around 3 pm, and that is if they return at all. The former students waiting be served are forced to return the following day.

When Sarah went there she was told her file was missing and was told to go to the file room to look for it. After going through a thousand files without getting hers, other students told her that the trick was to pay some money to one of the guys in the file office to have them look for it. She paid 10,000 Ushs and was told to check with them the next day, which she did. Miraculously the file had been recovered.

The girl at the counter told them it would then take a month to process their transcripts. That was on 22nd November 2004. On 10th January 2005, she went to campus and was told the machine that prints them was broken and had not yet been repaired.

On February 15th she finally got her transcript with one of her names miss spelt. She left it there to be corrected and two weeks later she went back to pick it up and to her horror she found that this time she was awarded a degree with papers she never sat for. After all this hassle she received her academic papers on April 12th, five months later. She has vowed never to return to Makerere to any course!

And you wonder why the university canít improve its image. Former students are the institutionsí ambassadors to the outside world. If they leave with a bad experience what do you expect?

Many have gone through same agony or worse. In my second year, first semester, at the school of education, over 500 students found they were to retake an economics paper that was lost by the scumbag who invigilated that exam in Nsibirwa mess. They tried all means and were told its easier for the students to redo the paper rather than get justice by, for starters, putting the concerned lecturer to task and have him explain the situation.

Many girls, some in our year, are yet to graduate because certain a male lecturer sat on their grades, waiting for kitu kidogo in the form of their flesh.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: October 3, 2005
Fiona Abaasa is a visitor of UGPulse.com.

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