Private varsities want law amended

Private universities in the country are opposed to the provision in the law governing universities and institutions of higher learning which empowers University Senates to determine the salaries of staff.

Private universities in the country are opposed to the provision in the law governing universities and institutions of higher learning which empowers University Senates to determine the salaries of staff.

Whereas salaries for public institutions are determined by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, the law provides for the senate to establish the emoluments in private schools.

“It’s not applicable to tell the University Senate to establish the salary scale of employees when the Senate is made up of employees,” said Dr Alphonse Ngagi, the President of the Private Universities association.

A University Senate is made up members of the staff and under it falls under the general management of the institution. According to Ngagi, the association appealed to Parliament asking for the amendment of some articles which the association says are ‘unbalanced’.

“We sent a letter to Parliament since the beginning of last year and we have been waiting for a debate on the issue in vain,” said Ngagi who is also the Rector of Kigali Independent University (ULK).

Speaking to The New Times, the Minister of Education, Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, said that her ministry has started working on the amendment of the organic law but hastened to add that the existing one has to remain in force.

“They should abide by that law because it is still in force until the amendment is passed,” Gahakwa said in a telephone interview.

The University association forwarded a document containing the articles that they wanted amended in the law to the parliamentary committee in charge of education.

According to Denis Polisi, the Vice Speaker of the Lower Chamber, the association as well as some universities have written requesting for the amendment.

“The Ministry of Education is going to meet the concerned parties to wholesomely analyse these concerns and send the document to the government for endorsement and from there it will come to parliament …that’s the right channel,” Polisi reiterated.

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