• By Kibwana Moses
Recent mayhem witnessed in top-notch universities in regards to their operations raises key questions– is it just time that universities are placed under monitoring for efficient learning process to take place?
Students from Dedan Kimathi University and the University of Nairobi were recently on the streets, demanding intervention of the government after fees was raised beyond imaginable levels . In some courses, fees was doubled without prior knowledge being given to the affected students. This is just not fair, in as much as universities strive to provide efficient services to students, payment should not be raised to certain levels where parents and guardians might not afford .
As it is already, parents are struggling to see that their children go to school. The Covid-19 pandemic has left many of them jobless, with those whose jobs remained secure having to undergo pay cuts as high as 30%.
Cost of living is on the rise after an increase in the price of basic commodities. Even though we agree that universities might be in need of more funds to facilitate their activities, raising fees to very high amounts might not be a solution. Let all stakeholders in the education sector hold talks, and ensure that they source for more funds in a manner that will be mutually beneficial and agreeable to both students, parents and the university administrators. A rise in fees will just lead to mere strikes, which eventually lead to massive injuries, destruction of public property and, to some extreme cases, even death.
As you walk through most universities and institutions of higher learning, you will notice the dilapidated state of infrastructure. Halls of residence are in a pathetic form where nobody would wish to stay. Since their establishment, most universities have made no attempt whatsoever to refurbish such infrastructure for the well-being of their prime customers, the students. This forces students to seek private accommodation arrangements in areas they consider worth living in. In overall, this makes university life more expensive then it actually should.
Because of these and many more factors, we are forced to rethink our strategies as a nation. Should higher learning institutions, just like primary and secondary schools, be on frequent monitoring? Has the Commission for University Education failed in its mandate? Is it right for students to be subjected to such mischief?
Let the government through the Ministry of Education take charge before it is too late.
– The writer is a Third Year student of media and journalism at Moi University, currently working with Lugari Daily.