What you need to know:
- Students vow to paralyse the university's activities if the Ministry of Education goes on with the proposed plans.
- Student leaders have opposed the proposal saying it comes at a time when the country’s economy has been hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic.
Tension is high at Chuka University in Tharaka Nithi County over the proposed plans to increase tuition fees.
The students have vowed to paralyse the university's activities if the Ministry of Education goes on with the proposed plans which will see tuition fee shoot from Sh16, 000 to Sh48, 000 annually.
Addressing journalists in Chuka town on Saturday, the university’s student leaders opposed the proposal, saying it comes at a time when the country’s economy has been hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic.
The varsity’s student council President, Boniface Limiri said the government should instead consider reducing fees to cushion them against the effects of the global pandemic.
"We cannot imagine that the government is thinking of increasing fees amid a pandemic that has crashed the world’s economy rendering our parents jobless and unable to raise even daily bread for us,” said Mr Limiri.
He said the decision also being supported by the Ministry of Education is ill-advised considering that the student leadership has not been consulted.
The council’s Secretary General Abiud Mathson asked the Parliament to reject the proposal and instead make sure that no single student is sent home or fails to sit for an examination due to fee arrears during the pandemic.
He said it’s unfortunate that the government is seeking to overburden parents with huge fees for their children when it’s planning to spend billions of shillings on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“If the government wants to feel the wrath of comrades, let it try to increase fees even by a single shilling,” said Mr Mathson.
Meanwhile, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has said that the proposal originated from Parliament and is yet to be discussed by the Executive.
On their side, public university Vice-Chancellors have argued that the institutions are broke with the cost of teaching and research rising.