Regional Body Forces Makerere to Close Dental School

Makerere University has deferred the admission of first-year students to the Bachelors of Dental Surgery Program for the Academic Year 2020/2021.

This follows the failure to meet the requirements set by the joint East African Medical and Dental Council. The regional body inspected the university’s Dental school and found it to be operating below the minimum teaching standards.

Consequently, the university has recalled adverts it had issued for the course and advised students who had applied for the course under the private sponsorship scheme to amend their application with other choices available.

“This is to inform you that admission for Bachelors of Dental Surgery for first-year students for the 2020/21 academic year has been deferred,” reads a statement issued by the university’s academic registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah.

Students who had been admitted on government sponsorship for the same programme will be shifted to other programmes based on the other choices that they had applied for.

However, one must meet the cutoff points to be shifted to another programme.

Makerere University has received warnings from East African Community (EAC) Medical and Dental Practitioners Boards and Councils since 2016 directing the institution to halt admissions for the Dental surgery programme over inadequate teaching equipment, space, and low staff to student ratio.

Professor Umar Kakumba, the deputy vice-chancellor in-charge of academic affairs said that the university is trying to meet the set standards by putting up a full-fledged dental clinic and recruited more staff to ensure that they meet the recommended lecturer to student ratio of 1:4.

He said that the university has so far covered over 90 percent of the requirement and have thought that the next inspection will be given green lights.

The next inspection will take place in July. Makerere University started offering the dental surgery programme in 1983 and has been annually admitting only 15 students due to shortages.

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