The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has asked all universities running engineering programmes to submit them for accreditation.
Ms Pamela Tibihikirra-Kalyegira, the NCHE director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation, said there are institutions, which continue to operate without being evaluated to ascertain whether they have the capacity to offer those professional courses.
“It is not like there has been lack of accreditation. In 2006, we had an amendment in the law to say that you can’t teach without your programmes being accredited. The lifetime of a programme is five years. Even if you were running the programmes before 2006, the assumption is that you should have come back for accreditation. As we speak now, everybody should have their programmes with NCHE if you are running any engineering programme,” Ms Kalyegira told journalists yesterday.
Memorandum of understanding
Her remarks follow a memorandum of understanding with the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) and the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE), which they signed on December 12, 2018 to reinforce their supervisory role.
Mr Ronald Namugera, the registrar of ERB, said out of the 20,000 trained engineers in the country they have about 1,200 registered.
He warned the public against using quack engineers.
“Our work is to regulate and control the practice of engineers in Uganda. It is our duty to ensure that what comes to the market is of quality. That is why we are working with NCHE. It is not a matter of a university coming out to start teaching engineering courses without being accredited,” Mr Namugera said.
He added: “In our investigation on the last buildings which collapsed, we realised that none of the so-called engineers who were on those sites had registered with us. If you are building a house worth billions, why do you go and hire somebody who is not registered? Those people who are killing people are not registered. Unfortunately, our investors prefer to get services of quacks because in their understanding, they are cheap.”
Some buildings that collapsed. Despite other conditions that lead to collapsing of buildings such as weather, the common reason is mistakes by constructors.
2004. A commercial building in Kasanga collapsed.
April 2016. Three bodies were recovered from the rubble of a collapsed Kyaseka Towers on Makerere Hill Road near Makerere University.
May 2018. A three-storey building collapsed in Buziga-Munyonyo, Kampala. Atleast 22 workers and one guard were rescued.
Francis Munyambabazi, a freelance engineer, in 2017 said incompetent engineers will produce substandard work with improper concrete mixing yet concrete determines the durability of buildings.