Strikes Scare Foreign Students, Says First Lady

First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni

The Minister for Education and Sports Ms Janet Kataha Museveni has said strikes at public universities is crippling enrollment of foreign students.

“Strikes put unnecessary pressure on all stakeholders in the post-strike period, students, parents, staff and the university management,’’ said Mrs. Museveni in a speech read by  the Minister for  Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu during Gulu University’s 14th graduation ceremony on Saturday.

“Strikes have gradually reduced on the number of foreign students and staff that used to enroll in our universities,” Mrs. Museveni added.

The First Lady who is also minister of education said that as part of efforts to curb the “unnecessary” strikes, the government through Ministry of Finance planning and Economic Development has this financial year earmarked funds to further improve salaries of staff in public universities.

“The Ministry of Public Service has finalized and released the revised salary pay structure for public university teaching and non-teaching staff. The new pay structure is to be implemented immediately because the funds are available,” she noted.

She however cautioned staff at public university that as government continues to improve their welfare as well as the quality of learning and teaching, they expect that staff will be more discipline and ethically committed to their work.

“I appeal to staff and students to avoid solving problems through agitation and strikes. This is not acceptable in this current era, more so in institutions of intellectuals”.

Ms Museveni advised graduands to be disciplined and committed hard work if they are to succeed in life.

Her statements follows several strikes staged by the academic and non-academic staff at public universities across the country to agitate for salary improvement.

Early last year, staff at public Universities went on strike accusing government of refusing to pay them their salary enhancement arrears of Shs29 billion.

Mr Frederick Kayanja, the University Chancellor Gulu university applauded staff for responding to his call on having dialogues to resolve emerging issues at the University.

A total of 1,548 students on Saturday graduated in various disciplines. Among them was Kilak North Member of Parliament in Amuru district, Mr Anthony Akol who graduated with Masters in Business Administration.