By Kampala Post Reporter
GULU. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni has cautioned University students against using aggressive means like striking to solve their grievances and challenges.
Mrs. Museveni noted that through the learning process attained at the University, students can find better conflict resolution methods instead of destroying what the government is endeavoring to put in place in terms of infrastructure.
“I pray that you abandon that old-fashioned style. If there’s anything that you need solved, discuss it like modern people and do it in a civilized manner,” she said.
The Minister made the motherly call on Wednesday at Gulu University where she was on a monitoring tour of the progress of construction of the University structures under the African Development Bank (AD) funded Higher Education, Science and Technology (HEST) Project.
She said she was happy to see that Gulu University is changing the Gulu skyline to gradually become a University town, which she however said comes with a lot of added responsibility. She also hailed the excellent work done on the structures which will soon be ready for hand over.
The Minister observed that being a rural University, it has a task of changing the quality of life of the community around it.
The Minister who is already traversing the country to sensitize the parents on their cardinal role of feeding their children with nutritious meals both at home and while at school commended Gulu district for coming out with a feeding policy that is already under implementation.
Mrs. Museveni was given a copy of the policy by Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, Gulu District Chairman. She applauded the district leadership for coming out with the policy noting that it will also help her on how to engage other districts.
Prof. George Ladaah Openjuru, the Vice Chancellor Gulu University informed the Education Minister that the University is faced with a major challenge of inadequate land which curtails infrastructure development and future expansion of the main campus.
The main campus is sitting on a 15- acre piece of land which was a district farm institute. However, the district, municipal leaderships and the University have set up a joint committee to work out mechanisms so that it can have ownership of the land titled in its name.
Openjuru noted that the current structures constructed under ADB/HEST project are sitting on 70 acres of land which belongs to National Forestry Authority.
“We secured alternative land in Latooro, Nwoya district for NFA but the process was halted because of the ban of degazetting forest land. My plea to the government is that this piece of land be degazzetted,” he pleaded.
The Vice chancellor noted that while other Universities begin with infrastructural development, for Gulu it began with teaching and now the focus is shifting to having better structures and the Government has done a good job to put up the buildings which will be ready by the end of the month.
In the same voice, Grace Freedom Kwiyuucwiny the Minister of State for Northern Uganda noted that with the modern buildings already erected in the NFA land, it will be hard to put them down since the two Institutions are all government. She supported the request to degazzete the 70 acres of land.
The Minster noted that the Cassava processing machine to be installed at the University will interest more farmers to embrace farming in Northern Uganda. She noted that this region has a lot of crops but since the farmers lack such machinery plants, they cannot add value to them and hence gain much more.
“It is a landmark in our region. If there’s value addition, the farmers can even export cassava products and this will therefore attract more into farming,” she noted.
The State Minister for Primary Health Care Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu was among those who accompanied the First Lady and Education Minster to Gulu University and she thanked Government for the infrastructure developments in the Public Universities.
The three modern structures worth about Shs22.5 billion, which will be handed over to the University in 20 days, will accommodate Library, Agriculture Lecture halls and Research Laboratories that will be used by the Medicine, Science and Agriculture faculties.