NYAGATARE – Members of Parliament belonging to an ad hoc Committee set up to look into academic issues within institutions of higher learning have said such institutions in the country lack adequate facilities to enable quality teaching to take place.
The legislators who are members of a five-member committee, made the remarks on Wednesday after visiting Umutara Polytechnic University in Nyagatare District.
MP Adolphe Bazatoha, who led the delegation, said lack of facilities is a big challenge in different institutions they have visited, which calls for more attention to this observation.
“We first visited Nyagatare Nursing School and the same issue was addressed but at least this university (Umutara) is lucky because government has allowed them to use the former Eastern Province building though it is not fully completed,” he said.
The committee was set up following numerous complaints about the quality of graduates from the country’s universities.
During their visit, the lawmakers were interested in assessing the curriculum, course content including its relevance to the economic development of the country.
The lawmakers were given a guided tour of the campus and its departments.
Some of the students in veterinary medicine told the MPs that they lack materials which affect their research work and assignments, while lecturers said class numbers were enormous to allow proper learning to take place.
“The issue of teaching 500 students packed in one hall is quite challenging to us. The students don’t fully understand why teaching has to be conducted this way,” Benon Muhumuza, the head of Business department said.
In response, the MPs pledged their support in solving the challenge posed by lack of facilities.
Later, the MPs held a brief meeting with the university management in which they were briefed on the campus strategic plan and previous achievements registered.
Presenting the strategic plan, the Rector, Prof. Phillip Brierly told the MPs that their target was to transform the university but they were being held back by lack of resources.