Wednesday, 21 January 2009

UDSM should not be run like a primary school

IT was appalling to read the report that the Dar es Salaam University Students Organization (DARUSO) has been abolished. I tried to go through the papers to see if I could get a convincing reason for this onslaught, but to no avail.

Instead, I saw what the guy known as Makenya Maboko (Deputy Vice Chancellor) dictated.



Now that DARUSO is no more, is it fair and reasonable to leave such avacuum? There must be an alternative. Sadly though those that are goodat dictating others didn’t tell us what an alternative could be! 

If anything, why don’t the university’s biggies tell us why they took such unreasonable and undemocratic measures?

It is surreal and outrageous though.

After reading all stuff, I found that what used to be the University of Dar es Salaam would soon look like another Kilimani Primary School. Or put it this way: It’ll be referred to as University of Dar es salaam that is run like a primary school.

Isn’t this a shame in the first Let's face it. Looking at how the administration (at the Hill that used to be the Mecca of education and liberation) has been dealing with problems resulting from boycotts; you find that there is a missing
link. They are dictated by the government without even thinking.

They are doing things commanded by the guys who run the university by proxy 'the minister for education and other gods of course'.In the1990s when I was teaching at one secondary school in Dar es Salaam, we had a similar problem. We had a silly headmaster who used to receive all orders from the owner of the school.

This owner in point was an illiterate tycoon, who invested in education to mint money. He could subscribe to any nonsense without reckoning that he didn't have any clue as far as running the school was concerned. Apart from being dubious, our school owner was corrupt and myopic. Guess what? This guy used to sit on teachers’ rights. Given that teachers were sidelined and divided, he did this for sometime.

His bulimia grew bigger so as to sit on the rights of students. They decided to take on him. To cut the story short, the guy survived a machete blow by one of the agitated students.There is also this aspect of introducing new IDs for university students as it was reported by Maboko without dwelling on the basics and specifics. What is wrong with the current ones?

Isn’t this another loophole to swindle our money apart from abusing it? The University of Dar es salaam is a public institution. It is run by our money. We thus, as stakeholders, need to know what is going on in lieu of a cabal of bureaucrats that sit down and make up things we don’t appreciate. Oddly enough though, nobody wants to ask these guys why they’re doing these madudu!

Tanzania is a democratic country. Its universities as well need to be run democratically and academically --not high-handedly. For, they are part and parcel of this land. Apart from being democratic, all universities the world over have their own independent rules governing their governments.

By felling DARUSO, the administration aims at either running the university autocratically or introducing its stooge outfit for the detriment of students and their rights. Will they goof and subscribe to this?

This should never be accepted anyway. It is contrary to even elitism so to speak. Education dispels fear and inculcates savvy and valour for fighting for human rights. The students are among the Tanzanians who President Jakaya Kikwete promised good and worthy life. Introducing aimless things like those stated by Maboko is, but slapping Kikwete in the face.

Will he subscribe to this? Why are we becoming prone to solving nonexistent problems and shying away from reality? Two years ago there were allegations by an American lady that she terminated her studies thanks to not consenting to sexual kickbacks.

Nobody has ever come clean on this! We know. Bad blood between students and the administration started when the government refused to offer them a 100 per cent loan for their education. Now to teach them the lesson, bad measures have been introduced! This is totally unreasonable and unfair.

Students are not yo-yos or zombies that can be treated stupidly. They know their government is rich. How can it stomach purchasing oil guzzlers for its officials and fail to offer loans to students?

They know there is corruption in the upper echelons of powers. They know Richmond, EPA, TICTS (Ticks), CIS, and what not. What pains a great deal more is the fact that the same people making up draconian rules are the same that used to give the government hard time when they were students. A self-serving and self-centred evil spirit will soon ruin the nation. Given that the root cause of all this megalomania is higher education loan, let's face it.

Those that are squeezing our children to swallow all and bow before whatever nonsense went to same level even higher, thanks to free education under Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Most of them are sons and daughters of paupers that have forgotten what being poor is. Nobody wants loans. But given that Tanzanians invested everything in an Ujamaa state pulse, they’ve no alternative.

Otherwise, they would have footed the bills for the education of their kids. If we don’t stop this bulimia, we’ll soon and just soon become the nation of hyenas that does not care for others. And, if anything, this
is a very nasty stage of corruption.

Decision and policy-makers should do some soul-searching and ask themselves: ’’Are we doing this simply because our own kids are studying abroad thanks to free money we squeeze from the parents of the same guys we’re vexing?’’ Sophocles (Greek dramatist) said: ’When wisdom brings no profit to be wise is to suffer.’

I doubt the wisdom behind these sideshows.

In order to do the right thing reminiscent to what should and what should not be done at the Hill, try to step in the shoes of the students. Try to imagine if your child or you were the one to bear this raw deal. Methinks. Instead of bulldozing the students we'd bulldoze the fisadis whose crimes have caused all this hell.

How come the country that is selling gold in tonnage fails to provide for its people? Where does this money go? In East Africa, Tanzania is the only country with a small number of college students.

But looking at the endowment in natural resources the same is a head of others. 
And mark my words. Since the new regime under Rwekaza Mukandala was wheeled to power, things have taken a U-turn from bad to worse. Who is wrong here, the students or the new regime?
Source: Thisday January 21, 2009.

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