Unasnm & Student Affairs

Uganda’s nursing and midwifery schools, and their student strikes over the years

It’s was reported that the school Principal Mrs Yedidah Biribonwa Sentongo wasn’t at the school during the strike. Special meals were subsequently changed on the Principal’s orders.

Mulago school of nursing and midwifery students on strike
Photo: Students of Mulago school of nursing and midwifery on strike

Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery

The school is arguably one of the most, if not the most, prestigious of Uganda’s nursing and midwifery schools. It too has had students go on strike action. Being attached to the country’s national referral hospital for a practicum site, strike actions at this nursing and midwifery school are some of the most docummented.

The most outstanding of these being the student’s strike on 7th May 2013 when students protested due to a 10 month power outage at the school’s hostels despite multiple efforts and engagements, by the students, to get the issue fixed.

It appears that the students only resorted to a sit-down strike after penning a letter to the Ministry of Education as well as Mulago Hospital management. Their pleas didn’t elicit any responce.

Then Guild president Sarah Carol Komuguni was quoted as saying: “we shall not go back to class until power is reconnected. We are determined to push on.” And power they did get.

Electricity was thereafter reconnected, and all went back to being as before. Quiet an effective tactic.

Rakai Community Nursing School.
This may be one of a few more violent strike actions that required police involvement to disperse to striking students.

This much rage and anger, on the part of the students, was reportedly precipitated by Mrs Marry Ssewamuwe’s (the school Principal) actions. Students were blocked from sitting their promotional examinations despite paying the examination fee and completing tuition to ‘zero’ balance.

According to John Mwebaze (then Guild president), trouble started after Mrs Ssewamuwe informed the students that Unmeb had only sent exam papers for only 90 students out of the registered 147 students.

He further went on to say that second year students had been the most displeased after having paid Ugx shs. 70,000 for the promotional exams in addition to the Ugx shs. 1.3million as tuition.

The last straw that broke the camel’s back was Mrs Ssewamuwe’s hand picking of students who would be allowed to sit the exams, a selection criteria she said was based on ‘who had paid first.’ Students would have none of that.

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