University of Nairobi students yesterday afternoon protested over a plan by the government to triple University fees.
University of Nairobi Students Association (Unsa) President Eddy Mwendwa said learners were not consulted yet the matter directly affects them.
“The decision is ill-advised and should not be tolerated. They are making matters worse for us even as we struggle to put food on the table,” he said.
Student leaders said that the proposal being pushed by vice-chancellors and supported by the National Treasury as well as Ministry of Education officials during a meeting with MPs on Wednesday is an insult to families, given the bad state of the country’s economy.
The students said the plan could not have come at a worse time given that parents and guardians have lost jobs as a result of the global pandemic.
Mr Kibor questioned the motive of giving students money from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) for upkeep when the same amount would be used as tuition fees.
“How will we sustain ourselves? The Helb money should be made a grant then. The ministry and Parliament should reject the proposal,” he said.
Unsa legal affairs head Justice Juku said that the university fee is being increased as the government uses Sh14 billion to fund the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and at the same time they are being told there is no money to facilitate education.
The student leaders gave the government seven days to drop the proposal, failure to which they will resort to unspecified means to achieve justice.
Prof Magoha said the country is in economic dire straits, adding that increasing university fees would overburden parents.
According to Magoha, the issue originated from Parliament but the Executive has not discussed its implementation.
“Tension has been rising among students following reports of fee increment,” Prof Magoha said at Kapsoit Secondary School in Kericho County yesterday.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic. The matter came from Parliament but we have not had input from other players.”
“It is fair and just to increase fees after 30 years but there has to be debate and a consensus. The issue should have a human face,” the minister added.
Police officers lobbed teargas canisters at the group that had blocked University Way.
By Joy Kyalo