August 18th 2017

Society / Education

Unqualified degree students demand refund from Mt. Kenya University

"These are new conditions being adopted midstream and we want guidance from the university regarding students who don't possess these minimum standards," said a student at the Kabarnet Campus.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSunday, 26 Feb 2017 12:15 EAT

Mt. Kenya University Kabarnet campus is one of those affected.

Mt. Kenya University's campuses in Kabarnet, Kisii, Kisumu and Nakuru are facing crisis following uncertainty over the future of school based programmes and the minimum qualification of students into degree programmes. At least a dozen education students studying under the school-based programmes have demanded fee refunds from the university should their academic programmes be terminated.

A number of students who spoke in confidence to this website informed us that the university administration has been grappling with the issue of high number of students currently studying under the programme, and who were not qualified for the courses. Most of the students have P1 certificates issued by teacher training colleges.

While the university, together with others facing the challenge, has been given a timeline by the Commission for University Education to ensure its programmes complied with regulations being enforced by Education cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi, the high number of students in its campuses having P1 certificates has raised tensions over the past week, according to our sources.

To cool tempers, our sources said, the university administrators issued a memo to the campuses urging students to remain calm as it studied the Matiangi-led reforms, assuring the learners that their programmes would not be affected. Directors in the campuses have also informed the students verbally that their programmes would continue normally.

However, continued media reporting about the planned suspension of school-based programmes and recall of degrees to graduates who failed to attain a minimum grade of C+ has caused tensions among continuing students at the univeristy.

In addition to the private assurances, the university has placed a media advertisement informing students that all their programmes, including online learning and school-based programmes "will continue as scheduled".

The main cause of contention is the university's new requirement that teachers with P1 certificates must have a Diploma in Education qualification, a mean grade of C+ in KCSE and C+ in the subject combinations that they expect to teach. 

"These are new conditions being adopted midstream and we want guidance from the university regarding students who don't possess these minimum standards," said a student at the Kabarnet Campus.

Our efforts to reach the dean of the Faculty of Education handling the cases were unsuccessful.

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