THE WOES OF A MAKERERE UNIVERSITY STUDENT

Forget that we still have starving babies (that’s if they don’t die at birth) or that 16 mothers see their creator due to poor health services or that half our budget is lost to corruption or that we are still struggling with principle constitutional mechanisms like separation of powers, Ugandan legislators are squabbling over marriage and divorce and well, of course, miniskirts!!!!

Part of the reason I didn’t vote in the past election, is not that I wasn’t of age, I could have voted at 13 or 14 years, not with the lax registration system but that there was no worth in making the trip to cast my ballot as my university education mattered more at the time.

Makerere University, where I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Laws, is one such university in Africa. Ranked ninth best overall in Africa, the university is a high-class, tech-savvy with hands-on quality Education University. Did I just say that about Makerere? The gods would strike you dead if you said that about Makerere.

The university, on the rather, is an archive museum yet to be gazzetted by government. The buildings, save for the new ones (Oh, it’s One) are a great piece of human history. The dusty walls and broken pipes make for great descriptions of failed universities. The aura you get about being a student in the 90-year old institution is that, well, you will get to watch a strike every semester of your living and also encounter enough mini-skirts to counter Lokodo’s bill. The food served in the halls of residence at Makerere is a splatter of groundnuts floating in magnificent water and occasionally half-cooked meat will suffice the weeviled beans and dry cracking bread that makes for the other part of the menu.

The tuition fees at Makerere are a sky-rocket price per semester. Parents with hopes of giving their children a good university education part with not less than 1.5 million shillings for each semester not forgetting that a tuition policy requires that all the money be cleared in not more than six weeks after the semester starts.

So, what exactly do parents pay this tuition for? I will break down for you according to the law school.

Lectures; a normal lecture is meant to help your son/daughter get the concept of what the topic due is about. Now do not get me wrong, Makerere lecturers do actually show up in class (occasionally) and here is what they will tell your son/daughter

Lecturer: who read what we are talking about today?

Your son: you didn’t tell us what you’d be teaching.

Lecturer: this lecture has ended go and read, I am not here to spoon feed you.

On a good day, (in the lecturer’s moods, I mean) the lecturer will point students to where he deposited the notes, at the photocopier where they will cost your son the penny you give them for pocket money. Forget that the tuition you paid includes stationery costs of 210,000shs. The only free stationery one receives in Makerere is the examination paper presented to him at the end of the semester.

So when the kids that come out of there are labeled tomatoes and cabbages, the real potatoes and cabbages are actually the people who don’t devote enough energy to teach the kids!

Makerere University should show the value for the money parents invest in their education. This bickery of giving us half an education under the pretext of ‘not spoon-feeding’ yet we are not even taught the concepts is ashaming. That’s how we produce lawyers that cannot fill a subpoena, lawyers that do not even know the jurisdiction of courts they are appearing at, lawyers that think of money,money money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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