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Fears ahead of UDSM reopening

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jan 17, 2009
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    2009-01-17 08:19:00

    Fears ahead of UDSM reopening
    By Beatus Kagashe

    Fears are mounting of possible demonstrations by students who have not yet been recalled to public universities when the institutions reopen Monday.

    Thousands of students are still locked out of the higher education institutions for taking part in last year's strikes over the Government's cost sharing policy.

    Some have been recalled albeit with tough conditions including pledges to pay up all the required tuition to be able to reregister.

    Student leaders at the University of Dar es Salaam, whose organisations have dissolved, vowed to defy lists published of students allowed to register on Monday.

    UDSM yesterday released tough entry requirements to control access by students, workers and visitors to the university.

    Authorities also banned public transport vehicles from entering university grounds in yet another sign of strike fears.
    Almost similar restrictions will apply to several other public universities across the country.

    Education and Vocational Training minister Prof Jumanne Maghembe ordered the university management to act tough against any form of threat or lawlessness.

    He urged students who have not been recalled to be calm and report to his offices for consideration.However, he said those who defied orders to write letters requesting to rejoin the university had dismissed themselves.

    The minister and senior UDSM officials held a press conference in Dar es Salaam where he read the riot act against "lawlessness".

    And in a statement read during the press conference, UDSM deputy vice chancellor (Academic) Prof Makenya Maboko warned the campus would be "out of bounds" to students who were not cleared.

    But some student leaders dismissed the officials' statement and urged students who were not cleared to join their colleagues at the campus on Monday.

    "We have asked all university students to disregard the Government's position and report without failure. We will see what to do then," said Godbless Charles, chairman of an umbrella breakaway student body.
    Apparently, the stage is set for another confrontation between university authorities and students.

    Last year's riots forced the Government to close at least six universities and one constituent college, sending home more than 30,000 students.
    Students are demanding full loans from the Higher Education Students Loans Board but the Government insists on cost sharing.

    On Monday there will be only one entry and exit point at the university to allow only cleared students and workers to enter.

    Prof Maboko said strict measures were necessary to enable a smooth re-admission process and to "safeguard" the university against any threats of violence.

    On Thursday, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Services, Mr Omar Kwaang urged the Government to ensure no student was victimised in the re-admission process.