KAMPALA. Makerere University has up to date not issued academic transcripts to more than 14,000 students who graduated in February.
The irritated graduates who are stuck without academic documents to attain jobs have petitioned the university vice chancellor Prof Ddumba Ssentamu over the delayed issuance of their academic transcripts giving him an ultimatum of seven days to work on the issue.
According to the petition, students claim that their absorption into the job market has become difficult while majority have missed out on scholarships to pursue further studies such as Masters and PHD programmes and lack accountability to their sponsors.
“One would need to present an academic transcript and a certificate to the sponsors to prove that they indeed attended and accomplished the course,” reads the petition.
It is against this background that the graduates are demanding for the expeditious handling of their case not later than June 15.
Makerere University Academic Registrar, Mr Namoah Masikye, on March 20, directed the university management to withhold 14,895 transcripts for students who graduated until the institution completes cleaning up its results management system after some staff infiltrated the system and falsified some of the students’ marks.
Prof Ddumba immediately after the notice asked the former students and the public to give the university two to three weeks to investigate the matter and remove those who were illegally listed in the 67th graduation booklet.
“There is nothing the university can do. But they can give us two to three weeks to sort out the problem and we will start issuing transcripts again,” Prof Ddumba told Daily Monitor in earlier interviews.
However, it is now two months and one week since the vice chancellor’s promise.
According to the university guild president, Mr Paul Kato, Mr Masikye had promised to start issuing transcripts of some few colleges that had finished verifying the results manually but all in vain.
“Last week, Mr Masikye sent me a letter informing me how they had already certified the results for college of natural science and health sciences indicating that printing of transcripts was going to begin but to date, the transcripts are not yet out. I wrote back to him and if the reply is negative, we shall put the university on pressure like we have always done to produce them immediately,” Mr Kato said.
Meanwhile, Prof Ddumba yesterday assured the graduates that the university will not produce any transcripts that have not been verified even if they strike.
“Even if they petition the vice chancellor and threaten to strike, they can go ahead but we are not going to give the transcripts unless they are verified,” Mr Ddumba said.
He, however, defended that some colleges have at least finished verifying the marks and printing of transcripts in those colleges is underway but he could not ascertain when the university will be able to issue all the transcripts to their graduates.
The university took the decision to withhold academic transcripts on March 9, after suspending four staff from the Academic Registrar’s department on suspicion that they participated in altering students’ marks without permission from their bosses.
The suspects include; Mr Mike Bitamale Barongo, the head of ICT, Mr Dennis Mbabazi, Ms Joyce Namusoke, and Mr Christopher Ntwatwa, all administrative assistants in the Academic Registrar’s office.
It is against this backdrop that the Academic Registrar, Mr Alfred Masikye Namoah, on March 20, wrote to the university staff, students and stakeholders indicating they had temporarily shut down the transcripts processing in order to clean up the mess.
This is not the first time that Makerere withholds students’ transcripts after graduation.
In 2015, a total of 13,776 students were affected as they waited for the university officials to verify their results.
Prof Ddumba Ssentamu however, defended that some colleges have at least finished verifying the marks and printing of transcripts in those colleges is underway but he could not ascertain when the university will be able to issue all the transcripts to their graduates.