MAKERERE. Three Makerere dons have been pinned for destroying the reputation of their own institution in the ongoing saga between the University and the Uganda Veterinary Board (UVB) which has halted the licensing of veterinary medical graduates.
Two are lecturers at Makerere’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) are the dons on the spot. Their third colleague is a retired lecturer from the same institution and has since been a permanent member of the UVB. All did not respond to our enquiries.
Former students and dons have criticized the trio for engrossing the two institutions in a conflict of ego and interests, causing young graduates suffering.
“How do you train, examine and recommended students for graduation; then sit at the UVB and recommend against yourself, the institution and the graduates presented for licensing?”, one lecturer asked.
Graduates of Animal Production now want reform of the UVB, citing excess UVB stagnation in responding to changing needs of practitioners in animal health and production.
“If the government has diversified the training mandate of Covab to include degrees in Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife, Animal Production and Laboratory Technology, why should UVB exclude licensing of other graduates as vets yet we are in the same field of occupation?” Ecwaku asked.
“All students at the college are taught mostly by veterinary doctors, but on graduation, they refuse to register us! Why under look and sabotage your own students and fruits? The vets wrote the programs, groomed us but thereafter are distancing themselves from us after we graduate! What an irony.” Ecwaku lamented.
While it is true the University has been struggling, lately sizeable investment has been directed towards training facilities and staff with higher qualification.
Former graduates have raised a red flag on the UVB structure and questioned the criteria used to appoint members to the board, calling for its disbandment and reforms.
Calls are mounting for the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to reorganize the UVB board to a more independent body, free of conflicts of interest. The call to the minister is to exclude lecturers on the UVB because under the regulations, Makerere is the body to conduct assessment of any individual applicant directed for re-assessment by the UVB before licensing.
The UVB rules guide, that when a graduate seeking a practice license is questionable, UVB contacts the University to set reexamination for the subject graduate.
Now that COVAB, endorsed the students and qualified them for licensing in veterinary practice, what grounds are there to block individual graduates from being licensed?
All in all, what is going appears not a problem of the young graduates but fights transferred to the board.
One student says; “I graduated on 15-02-2023 and immediately after securing my transcripts I rushed to UVB to file my papers for certification. I paid Shs270,000 but there is no substantive response. We are missing opportunities,” she said.
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