University students call for rent and school fees waiver

Technical University of Mombasa students during a past function. PHOTO: COURTESY.

As effects of COVID-19 continues to be felt across every sector in the country, Kenya University Students Organization (KUSO), are now calling on the government to waiver rent and school fees for university students.

Through a letter written to the ministry of education, KUSO says it’s unfair, unjust and unmindful that amidst the wave of such a pandemic, some universities are forcing students to pay fees wholesomely and attend online classes despite the fact that they are unable to do so.

“As it is known, most parents have been affected economically and are not able to pay rent for their children while at the same time feed their huge families at home. The few students who are able to hustle cannot afford to buy a meal and pay rent from the meagre pay they get from ‘mjengo’,” said KUSO president Antony Manyara.

According to Manyara, students are forced to pay for their personal belongings that remained in their spaces of stay before institutions closure with the hope that COVID-19 would be contained soon after.

The students’ organization is now calling on the ministry of education to partner with concerned stakeholders to ensure a consensus is reached on the matter as well as to write a directive to all institutions of higher learning on a possible 100 percent waiver on accommodation fee among other daily expenses that is already outrageous and inconsiderate.

The organization also wants the Education Ministry to hold a meeting with all University Council Heads and Vice Chancellors union top executive to agree on a possible 40-50 percent fees waiver on all the students.

The students also want the MOE to establish a crystal clear position of all institutions of higher learning in their capacity to sustain electronic-learning among others.

In Kenya, successful electronic-based degree programs have been dominated by foreign and international qualifications, mostly postgraduate degrees featuring collaborations between local private institutions and foreign institutions.