Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Acholi Parliamentary Group-APG has tasked the government through the Ministry of Education and Sports to immediately reopen Gulu College of Health Sciences. Management closed the schools on Thursday last week following a demonstration by students over the revised fees structure. According to the circular issued by the school, diploma students under government sponsorship would pay Shillings 1.47 million up from Shillings 1.27 million while private sponsored students would pay Shillings 2.5 million from the initial Shillings 2.077 million.
On Monday, the members of the Acholi Parliamentary Group led by their Secretary General John Amos Okot, the Agago North Constituency MP visited the school on a fact-finding mission. Betty Aol Ocan, the Gulu City Woman Member of Parliament and former Leader of the Opposition in Parliament-LOP said the closure of the school has exposed a lot of female students to the danger of sexual exploitation by older men in exchange for food and accommodation.
She also revealed that the school was closed illegally since they spoke to the State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo who denied issuing such directives. Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament said the peaceful demonstration by the students didn’t warrant the closure of the school. He called for the immediate reopening of the school.
John Amos Okot, the Secretary-General of Acholi Parliamentary Group says the closure of the school has greatly affected students who come from other parts of the country since they do not have anywhere else to go to.
During the visit, Saul Narasira, the Guild President of Gulu College of Health Sciences told the legislators and school administration that they are committed to peaceful dialogue once they are allowed into the school. He says that they will not hold any demonstration again.
Jean Babalanda, the Principal of Gulu College of Health Sciences told the MPs that the decision to re-open shall be determined on September 15th after the meeting with the governing council.
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