Kampala. The State minister for Higher Education, Dr Chrysestom Muyingo, yesterday failed to convince Members of Parliament on the 15 per cent tuition increment for Makerere University.
The minister was presenting a statement in defence of the University Council’s decision, arguing that education in Uganda is cheaper compared to elsewhere in the region.
However, national female Youth MP Anna Adeke criticised the minister for being illogical and slapping the tuition burden on private students.
“Time and again, Makerere is being run by the private students; government subvention has remained constant,” Ms Adeke said.
The legislator tasked the minister to explain whether the government was planning to shoulder a similar increment for students under its sponsorship.
“We have to exercise equity between private and government students, Makerere University is still a public institution of higher learning, why must private students shoulder the entire burden?” she said.
Ms Adeke added that the government erred in benchmarking Nairobi University, saying the Kenyan government, unlike Uganda, domestically funds its budget, with more than 50 per cent.
Mr Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) wondered why the government would want to benchmark Kenya yet the two countries are politically and economically different.
“How come when we were amending Article 102 (b), we never benchmarked Kenya, but we should take its price for education?” Mr Kasibante said.
Kitagwenda County MP Abbas Agaba (NRM) said the minister’s statement fell short of honesty and inclusiveness.
“The reason we have public universities is to enable education for as many as possible, meaning that the governments should shoulder responsibility for as many Ugandans as they can,” Mr Agaba said.
“In fact our argument has been that we widen the coverage that the government sponsors as many students as possible and that we even reduce the number of private students in government universities,” he added.
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah stopped the debate into the matter, saying it was presented in a wrong form, advising the MPs to present the issue with a clear motion seeking definite solutions.