The administration of Masaka School of Comprehensive Nursing has made a decision to send students home if they have not paid at least 75 percent of their tuition fees. This decision was reached during a meeting chaired by Mr. Steven Kakeete, the principal education officer of Masaka City, on September 26. The meeting was attended by the school principal, Ms. Nausindo Kekurina, school guild council leaders, and security authorities.
Students who had not paid 75 percent of their tuition fees were issued payment commitment letters, and those who did not have valid reasons for delayed payment were given demand notices and sent home.
The decision to send students home came after a strike by students who were protesting against issues like poor welfare, high tuition fees, and delayed placements in community training. The strike was triggered when the administration issued meal cards and denied meals to students without them.
In addition to the tuition fee issue, the meeting also discussed the need for routine maintenance of items such as beds and the plumbing system. The Health Minister in the guild council was tasked with coordinating access to a medical kit for handling common medical cases, with the school offering assistance to students in case of extra medical fees.
Mr. Kakeete announced an extension of the community placements deadline to October 1 to allow students who have not paid 75 percent of their tuition to clear their fees and participate.
Ms. Kekurina emphasized the school’s financial challenges, stating that running the school on a deficit budget was unsustainable. She pointed out that only 39 percent of the school’s over 390 students had paid at least 75 percent of their tuition, leading to supply issues for essential items like maize flour.
Tuition fees at the school vary depending on the course, ranging between Shs1.5 million and Shs2 million per semester. The school offers diploma programs in comprehensive nursing, midwifery, and general nursing.
The guild president, Mr. Edgar Tusiime, expressed long-standing concerns about poor welfare, insecurity, high tuition fees, and delayed training placements among students. He also noted that the administration had not communicated about the community placements, leading to frustration among students.
This marks the second strike by students at Masaka School of Comprehensive Nursing this year over similar issues. The institution is a government-founded health training school located in Katwe-Butego, a suburb of Masaka City, adjacent to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.