Lecturers fight for the establishment of public universities in every county.
Public university professors have protested a proposal to repeal a law requiring the government to build an institution in each county.
This is part of a proposal to amend the Universities Act of 2012 in order to thwart lawmakers’ plan to establish universities in each county.
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In 2012, Parliament passed the Universities Act, which mandated that each county have at least one public university.
However, the ministry now prefers that universities be established only when absolutely necessary.
Dons, however, have voted down the planned proposal and asked Parliament to keep the current provision, as represented by the University Academic Staff Union.
On October 28, Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga made a presentation to the Education Committee gathering stakeholder feedback on the proposed changes, noting that if passed into law, the bill will favour counties with established public universities.
If passed, the amendment will be a major victory for CS George Magoha, who has previously expressed his displeasure with the country’s rush to open universities.
There are currently 33 public universities and seven constituent colleges across 30 counties.
Nairobi County has 5 public universities, with 3 in Nyeri and two each in Uasin Gishu, Tharaka Nithi, and Kisii.
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If implemented, the proposal will harm 17 counties that have yet to benefit from the establishment of a public university.
Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Makueni, Nyandarua, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kajiado, Busia, and Nyandarua are among them.
Wasonga went on to say that because the proposal affects counties, it should be considered by the Senate as well as the National Assembly.
They also oppose the proposal, claiming that it could lead to the consolidation of educational institutions.
The proposal states that “the proposal will open the door to the merger of public universities in violation of pre-existing court orders.”
Critics of the dons’ proposal argue that keeping the provision would require more human resources, increasing the demand for teachers/tutors.