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Unasnm & Student Affairs

Uganda’s nursing and midwifery schools, and their student strikes over the years – part 2

This is a continuation of the first part (Here )

Hoima School of Nursing and Midwifery
Hardly three years into formation, the school had had quite a number of internal student-administrator squables that would occassionally end-in ‘micro-strikes’. This was especially the case post arrival of the first government-sponsored lot (or sets) to the school in 2012. A set is an academic student population admitted at any given time.

Until then, the school had been a private nursing school, from it’s formative years of 2010, as part of the wider efforts by the Bunyoro Kingdom to boost healthworker numbers in the midwestern region.

With the arrival of the government-sponsored students came late payments that stretched the school’s finances, an increasingly deteriorating quality of food, a teaching staff that was small numbered and wanting, all compounded by an over-crowding of students. Breaking point came at some point. Hence the internal squables.

However, in July 2015, there was a much bigger student strike action, in terms of parties drawn-in, and publicity.

It too like strike actions elsewhere began with a rejection of the school’s bad food or put simply — weevil-infested beans. But that was something they were getting used to.

The school administration’s insistance that students pay an increased Unmeb examination registration fee despite part of that fee being catered for by an allocation in the tuition fees, felt like a rip-off to the students.

Enraging the students more was the refusal to register two students by the school deputy principal Mr Byakagaba Wilson. It would be the second time their registration was being rejected for no apparent reason save for the deputy principal settling a personal vendetta with the two students.

That evening, the students would be dismissed from the school campus at about 6pm after expressing discontent with the manner of treatment accorded them despite being eligible for the registration process., all whilst others were allowed to register.

The calling in of police at the behest of Mr Wilson to effect the arrest of the two students made a bad situation much worse.

The subsequent and regrettable events required police to use tear gas to diffuse the tension. Mrs Angujeru Pacutho, the school Principal, was away from the school at the time.

Her return saw a number of students labelled as ring-leaders get suspended. Not long after, the deputy principal lost his job as it he was asked to resign by the school’s Governing council, displeased with his handling of the whole affair.

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