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Kenyan universities warned about condition

Universities across the country have been criticised for letting students live in poor conditions.

Commission for University Education chairman Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha said students were living in congested rooms, with universities only focusing on higher enrolment.

“In the past, students used to enjoy their stay in universities but today students cannot invite their parents and friends to visit them since the environment they are living in is poor,” said Prof Chacha.

Speaking in Nairobi during a conference on state of education organised by the Africa-America Institute, the CUE boss asked universities to address the problem of overcrowding.

Universities have been grappling with shortage of hostels for students, which has led to the private sector stepping to address the problem.

Security of students

The Interior Ministry has also raised concerns over privatisation of hostels, saying it has made it hard for the government to coordinate security of students.

Prof Chacha also criticised failure by university boards to follow set guidelines in promotion of academic staff.

He added that parallel degree programmes were a big problem as they had compromised the quality of education in the country as the focus was on making money.

“There is new madness around the globe, and we cannot continue glorifying the number of universities without being worried about quality education,” said Prof Chacha.

He asked universities to ensure that they have adequate facilities for proper learning, adding that some institutions were initiating programmes without necessary equipment and manpower.

Poor funding

Meanwhile, the CUE boss criticised the government for poor funding of universities.

“The government should not abdicate its responsibility of ensuring that universities have facilities that meet the required standard. Access to education also means having basic education for neglected areas so that they can produce students who can be admitted to universities,” he said.

Prof Chacha raised concern over unnecessary expansion of universities, saying this was compromising quality.

“Some universities are manufacturing professors like banks. They are not worth being called senior professors or senior lectures as they have no idea what it means. Some do not know where they got their PhD but are bragging in villages,” he said.

At the same time, Prof Chacha cautioned against ignoring social science courses, saying they are still relevant and should not be despised.

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