Tanzania: Lecturers Appeal for Intervention to End Udom Controversy

Dodoma and Dar - Some lecturers at the University of Dodoma (Udom) have urged the government to sit down with tutors whose boycott led to the sending home of nearly 8,000 students, who were pursuing a diploma course in education.

Speaking to The Citizen on condition of anonymity, they said the only way to make sure that the students resumed lessons was for the government to sit down with lecturers and address their grievances.

Some lecturers also criticised the government for sending the students home, saying they were innocent.

"I feel sorry for the students, especially girls, who have been forced to seek shelter at the bus terminal after they were given 24 hours to vacate Udom premises," said one lecturer.

According to another lecturer, there was no need for the government to order the students to leave, and should instead have sat down with the lecturers and considered their demands.

Some of the affected students, who were still at the Dodoma bus terminal, accused the government of exposing them to danger.

Mr Joshua Meshack, a student from Geita Region, described the government's decision as inhuman.

"We were supposed to sit our final exams at the end of this month, but we don't know what is going to happen. My worry is that we might just have lost two years," said Mr Praygod Emmanuel, a student from Kilimanjaro Region.

Meanwhile, the Udom student government president, Mr Bruno Julian, told The Citizen that the organisation was in discussions with the government on the fate of the 7,802 students who had been sent home.

He said he had spoken with the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, who promised him that the government would soon come up with a plan to accommodate the students.

Efforts to reach Prof Ndalichako failed as calls to her mobile phone went unanswered.

Reached for comment Udom spokesperson Beatrice Balthazar said the university's administration would issue a statement in the matter any time from today.

On Monday, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Tulia Ackson, adjourned Parliament prematurely after MPs demanded that business at hand be deferred so that they could discuss the fate of the affected students.

MPs from both camps wanted Parliament to shelve debate on the Water ministry's budget to discuss the government's decision to send home nearly 8,000 students pursuing a special teaching diploma courses at Dodoma University.

Education minister, Prof Joyce Ndalichako told Parliament earlier that the students were sent packing following a month -ong strike by their tutors.

Source: The Citizen