Staff in Northern Uganda's Gulu University Should Resume Work
December 4th 2017, students of Gulu University protested against the academic staff’s decision to lay down their tools over sh700m in arrears unpaid dues.
Last year, Gulu University former Vice-Chancellor Prof. Jack Nyeko Pen Mogi defended his decision to suspend the Semester One Examination, saying the university does not have a constitutional right to pay the sh700m the academic staff is demanding.
Gulu University has a population of about 4,000 students. About 3,200 are private students while the rest are on government sponsorship.
Pastor Joseph Okidi, the guild president of the university, said the strike was hurting especially students from poor families who struggle to pay fees.
The new Gulu University vice-chancellor, Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah who replaced Prof. Jack Nyeko Pen-Mogi, while assuming office during the university’s 13th graduation ceremony said, “he will negotiate with non-teaching staff as pertains to their strike over delayed payment for the smooth running of the institution.”
In my opinion therefore, the GUASA Chairman Associate professor David Kitara Lagoro has asked for a forensic audit of the university accounts; they should resume work to ensure continuity at the University and allow the new management undertake audit as the Semester Continues.
Besides, four members of the University staff are members of the University council which is a decision making body of the University. GUASA members should therefore join hands with the new management as major stakeholders to realize Prof. Openjuru’s vision of making the university a leading international University.
Conclusively, as educators our mandate is to spend our careers building other people’s careers. Striking should not be our first line of defense but a last resort if need be when management fails to listen. This new management is open to dialogue and GUASA leadership is expected to offer leadership.
The author (Aliker David Martin) is the CEO of Cock Media Group.