Makerere University fees payment system breaks down

Makerere University has allowed students to sit exams without examination permits due to the breakdown in the payment system. 

A letter from the academic registrar’s office asks college registrars to issue temporary clearance to students who had cleared tuition dues.  

Students are required to present examination permits as a confirmation of completing tuition payment.  

Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs explains that only a few students who changed programs from evening to day and those who changed subjects whose data has not been placed in the system lack permits.

Over 2000 students across all colleges started writing their exams on Monday without being tasked for proof of clearance of tuition by the college registrar. 

It should be noted that the system failure, which appears with wordings saying “transaction aborted” when one tries to generate a permit has helped a number of students who have carried on dues since last year.

This is when the university transitioned from the Academic Information System (AIMS )to Academic Information Management System (ACMIS), an innovation by public universities. 

The system is responsible for generating unique codes for tuition payment, and examination permits and keeping track of the student’s academic progress.  

Some of the students frustrated by the instability of the system noted that AIMS was more user friendly unlike ACMIS, which could be the source of issues.

Yusuf Waidembe, a student says that the old system had options that could allow them to register and deregister a course, which isn’t the case with the new system where they don’t have any rights.

Mariam Bayiga who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences, says that while over 3000 students from one college are allocated to one college registrar, the same official has to address concerns in connection to graduation before the end of April.       

Bayiga’s exam is on Thursday. She, however, notes that she is unable to print her permit yet the numbers are overwhelming at the registrar’s office. 

While some financially struggling students have found relief in the instability of the system, other students are worried it will be harder for them to clear tuition dues to the tune of over Shs 3 million when the system stabilizes.   

Kyambogo University, which uses the same system, imposed surcharges on students with fees balances after completing their examinations. 

 The University attributed the late Communication of the charge to a system error.  

Worse still, since the transition from AIMS to ACMIS, students in a number of public universities have demonstrated Missing marks, which are attributed to the transition often. 

The examinations which commenced on April 25, 2022, will be running until May 14, 2022.

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