Makerere University students are stranded following the sudden closure of the university in the middle of the examination period.
Following the President’s directive to close all schools with effect from June 7th at 8:00am, many students have been left stranded as they do not know how to go about the predicament in which they are.
Mary Adding, a final year student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Economics says she was meant to have had her last paper on 7th but when she went to the university, it looked like a ghost city as it was void of human presence and the lecture rooms were closed.
Shortly after the lockdown was announced, the University acting Dean of studies, Winifred Kabambuli past a directive in which all students were asked to vacate halls of residence by the end of Monday as per the President’s directive.
This has left Makerere University students stranded as lecture rooms are closed, they’re being asked to vacate halls of residence while transport costs have tripled which leaves them to lounge on the streets of Kampala in distress.
“I have been here since morning, initially, the transport fare to Mbarara was 20,000 shillings, yesterday the transport fare was raised to 50,000 shillings while today’s morning we are being asked to pay 80,000 shillings and although we have the money, it is not enough to secure a place on the bus,” revealed a third year student of Journalism and Communication.
Such is the situation many other students have found themselves in, despite the fact that they’re willing to travel upcountry, the transport costs are abnormally high which only forces them in frustration.
“In my opinion, it would have been better if we were asked to remain at school because some of us had only three papers left but now the country has been locked down, we don’t know when school will resume, hostels have been closed while the transport rates are too high, honestly the entire situation is ugly,” said Patience Druscilla Magezi, a university student.
The 42 days lockdown is the second to be imposed by the head of state over the Covid-19 pandemic but unlike the first lockdown, many people have grievances over this lockdown despite the fact that there are multiple cases of covid-19.
“Last week, I took my children to school and it was mandatory to clear the fees but hardly a week later, I have to pick them from school, we are already struggling to survive, I don’t know what the lockdown will do to us,” said Johnson Bwire, a father of three.
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From the lock of things, the devastation that came from this lockdown is not only from the students but the parents too, however, health experts warn that the situation could get worse if students were left at school as many institutions of learning have already registered cases of covid-19.
Therefore, the entire country ought to abid by the six weeks lockdown and the country may then return to normal if the numbers of patients drops.