Ugandan universities were advised by the ministry of education and sports to switch from the lecture-room model of teaching to online classes after the covid-19 outbreak that kept schools and institutions closed for a long period of time.
The online classes were a temporary measure to make sure that students continue with their education before they allowed to report back to class after the vaccination process.
But the proposal of online lectures has not worked because many universities lack the infrastructure that can enable them conduct online classes.
The infrastructure included computer laboratories, software, and internet facilities among others.
But many universities administration said they are not ready to adapt to this model because it is expensive and it requires long term infrastructural investment
Recently, the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) petitioned Parliament over this problem.
The students led by Ezra Byakutangoza presented the petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Tuesday, 09 March 2021 saying that Parliament needs to check government programmes in regard to students’ welfare and academics.
“The lecturers have prolonged the industrial action and considering the time we wasted during Covid lockdown, the students are suffering and losing more time,” he said.
Byakutangoza added that many institutions were closed and the government has encouraged electronic learning, which has ended up being for just a few that can afford it.
“Many students lack gadgets, data and even network for those who are upcountry is an issue. With the vaccine we are praying that it is more effective to be in school with the help of the vaccine,” he said.
Kadaga said that Parliament will pressurize the Ministry to listen to their concerns and asked them to be patient as the problem of Covid 19 is being solved.
Media reports indicate that the Law Development Centre also disqualified over 50 students from doing their final examinations for failure to take part in the online classes.
The University alleged that the students failed to meet the attendance requirements and that were ineligible to undertake any assessment during the term including examinations.
The students will not be able to proceed to the next level next year.
The disqualified students have threatened to appeal this decision as they render it unfair and inconsiderate.