Mukono, Uganda | URN | Dozens of Uganda Christian University (UCU) students stuck in off campus hostels are in need of food relief, this publication has learnt.
The Student Guild has so far registered over 160 of the estimated 300 students spread in 28 private hostels and rentals in need of food relief. Most of the affected students remained behind when government suspended all academic institutions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Majority of the students say they opted to stay when the university announced plans to administer examinations and complete the academic semester online which would have been difficult for them due to lack of internet and computers back home.
Boss John Bruce, the UCU Guild Electoral Commission Chairperson who led the registration of the affected students says they want to be considered under the government food distribution program targeting the vulnerable people.
He says some of the students want government and the university administration to make special arrangements for transportation to their homes since they are uncertain when studies will resume.
Our reporter visited six hostels at Upper and Lower Kauga and found several students stuck in their rooms. Fred Atuhera, a third year business student and Captain of the UCU football team is a resident in St. Michael historical hostel in Lower Kauga.
He told our reporter that there are over 35 students in the hostel who couldn’t return home for fear that they would miss out on the online examinations and lessons due to lack of internet access.
Ruth Akwir, a fourth year student of Agricultural Sciences and Entrepreneurship skills stays in a private rental in Upper Kauga. She says that on top of spending days and nights without eating she is worried of where to get rental fees.
She notes that her mother toils to raise her tuition which she supplements with baking pancakes and half cakes that she supplies to various shops around campus to generate money for her requirements. Akwir however, says she is unable to get any money since the shops around campus are closed.
David Mugawe, the UCU Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration, says they have learnt of the huge number of students stuck in off campus hostels because of the lock down.
He says they have started the students to establish their status and decide on the way forward.