Kyambogo University has introduced a reporting system to collect information regarding staff members who may be involved in soliciting money or sexual favors from students in exchange for improved grades.
This issue recently gained public attention through media reports, raising concerns at both Makerere and Kyambogo universities.
Prof. Eli Katunguka, the Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University, says that the university strongly disapproves of any form of misconduct, whether it pertains to academic or social behavior. To address these allegations comprehensively, he added that the university council has advised the Academic Registrar and the University Secretary to gather information from students and other sources.
The Vice-Chancellor made the remarks at a press conference on Thursday. He emphasized that, since the reports are still treated as allegations, the university’s primary focus is on gathering information to facilitate the implementation of existing university guidelines and regulations, enabling the imposition of suitable penalties for those found guilty.
He also encouraged students to utilize various means of reporting, including the option of providing anonymous reports to the designated offices.
Prof. Katunguka also pointed out that while the issue of exchanging money for better grades can be addressed through regulations, the issue of sexual misconduct for marks is of a criminal nature and must be handled accordingly.
The issue of both monetary and sexual favors in exchange for better grades is not new at Kyambogo University. In 2012, a significant number of students at the university were denied graduation due to emerging reports of irregular and questionable grading practices.
Just last year, the university uncovered a scheme involving certain staff members and students who were illicitly altering grades for students with retakes and including unqualified individuals on the graduation list. During that time, at least eight students were implicated in tampering with grades and other clearance requirements, and they were reportedly arrested pending an inquiry into the matter.
However, it appears that the issue gradually faded from public attention, and follow-up efforts by our reporter with Kyambogo Police yielded no further information or updates on the situation.
But, Katunguka has mentioned that in the past, the university’s Appointments Board had taken action by dismissing several staff members who were implicated in the practice of altering marks. Additionally, he cautioned students against engaging in this misconduct, emphasizing that marks could not be altered without the active involvement of the students themselves.
The University is also preparing for its 19th graduation ceremony, scheduled to take place from December 6 to 8 this year.
As the dates approach, Katunguka advised students to complete their clearance procedures well in advance to avoid the last-minute rush and associated stress. He emphasized that the system is now open, and anyone with any outstanding issues should address them promptly to ensure inclusion on the graduation list.
Dr. John Okuonzi, the Chief Technical Officer of ICT and Services at the university, also highlighted that a new function has been added to the Academic Management Information System (ACMIS) to streamline the clearance process for graduation. He said that the new function is intended to synchronize records related to finances, academics, and other relevant matters, eliminating the need for students to physically visit multiple offices to complete their clearance.
With this new system, students will receive notifications regarding their financial and academic status, and only those with outstanding issues will need to visit the respective offices to resolve their concerns or file complaints. This streamlined process aims to reduce the administrative burden on students and improve the efficiency of the clearance process.