Floods of tears from a section of Makerere University students who wanted exams to be extended are about to reach the main gate after they cried themselves sore. This follows a decision by the University management to ignore their pleas for the same extension citing an already delayed academic year.
At the beginning of the week, Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe proved that he is a real ‘wise man from the east’ when he threw all calls for exam extension to the wind and announced that exams at the ivory tower will go come rain or shine.
In a video delivered via his twitter handle, nawangwe did not even make any single allusion to the petition but rather advised all students to read, sit their exams and go home! Nawangwe’s latest communication followed an earlier one that he made towards the end of August while receiving medical students back to campus following the presidential clearance.
During that period, Prof. Nawangwe beseeched the rest of the students— especially finalists — to read hard and prepare for exams since there was a likelihood that they would simply return to campus to write their exams.
However, many students took his warning lightly. They would however suspect that he was dead serious after he announced that exams were slated for November; especially for finalists. This forced a section of students led by some overzealous student leaders to initiate a petition asking the university management to extend the exams.
The movers of the petition premised their move on the fact that many lecturers have not taught via the online (e-learning/ODEL) arrangement and thus students are shallow on content to write so as to pass exams.
The petitioners were also dissatisfied that many of their colleagues especially from hard-to-reach areas were not in position to access the few online lessons due to network challenges and poverty manifested in lack of laptops or even money to load data for the zoom lectures.
For about one month, the students have been gathering signatures of students against the administering of exams to students without physical lectures.
However, like goes the popularly trending adage, it is now official that the petition and its related maneuvers have all ended in premium tears after the university released a timetable showing that exams will begin on November 15 and end before December.
According to Prof. Nawangwe, this was done to facilitate the completion of the academic year in a staggered manner so as to stem the spread of the covid-19 pandemic while at the same time creating room for a return to the normal university calendar that was sabotaged by the recent covid-19 lockdowns.