Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Mr Muhammad Nsereko has asked the government to bail out 3000 Makerere University students who are struggling to pay their tuition fees, accusing the state of reserving financial bailouts to only struggling businesses.
Speaking to fellow MPs on Monday, Nsereko said that the students will be barred from sitting for examinations yet their parents/guardians are contributing to the economy through paying taxes.
Nsereko’s call comes after government suspended study loans, citing financial constraints in the 2023/2024 Financial Year.
“These are children of our own, this government has bailed out a number of people in business corridors, we can talk about Roko,Bujagali through tax waivers. Their parents pay their taxes, and none of them would like to see their children reaching the pinnacle of their education, that is graduating with a bachelor’s from a University. What best thing can we do for the girl and boy child rather than help to bail them out during their most important time of need than investing in their education now?” Nsereko noted.
“These are the people who have tried to pay for themselves and probably are failing in the 3rd or 4th year. Therefore, our indulgence in this matter will help us treat the issue of mental health at the university, some students want to commit suicide,” Nsereko added.
While responding to Nsereko’s concern, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa asked government to handle the matter with caution.
On this issue for sure, you projected Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) for these Universities and you even appropriated it, the students are getting services and I know the hardship, but I am fearing for the precedent we would set saying that when students fail…Prime Minister go and study this matter, take your time, look at it with very clear caution,” Tayebwa said.