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Lecturers reject proposal to privatize universities

The proposal by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to privatize some universities has been met with opposition from the varsity dons, who argue that such a move would leave the management of education to “cartels.”

Through their umbrella union, Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) the dons have demanded that the government engage in dialogue with education professionals to find the best way forward.

“We were taken aback that the government wants to leave its responsibility and leave the funding of university education to outside investors…The minister of trade must now speak. We will not leave the management of education to cartels. If education is left in the hands of investors, where will the poor Kenyans go to? Will they afford education?” UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said.

In solidarity with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), Wasonga affirmed that UASU will fight against the “privatization and commercialization of education in Kenya.”

KUPPET Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima accused the government of escaping costs by privatizing institutions of higher learning and called for a dialogue between education experts and the government to recalibrate the situation.

Nthurima stated, “The government should not run away from cost. The report is coming at a time university lecturers are having altercations with the government because they can’t be paid. This report is impeaching the government…We need to have a dialogue with the government. We remind it that it has left the education sector.”

In addition to the privatization proposal, Wasonga also criticized the introduction of the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), calling the current implementation “disorderly” and a sham.

He stated, “Imagine you are in primary, then you are being told you are in secondary, which system of education is this?…Who decided this type of curriculum? And they don’t want to consult experts. They will not put us in those working groups because we will tell them the truth.”

 

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