September 20th 2017

Society / Education

JOOUST: The university where tribal associations are banned

“Only associations or groupings that bear the face of this country will be accepted,” he had said during his inaugural address to first year students at the university’s main campus in Bondo.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 22 Sep 2016 11:09 EAT

The recent protest by elected leaders from Uasin Gishu County against the appointment of an “outsider” as acting vice chancellor of Moi University has brought to the fore the issue of tribalism in public universities.

Last Friday, during the induction of 2,000 new students to Jaramogi Oginga University of Science and Technology, the university’s vice chancellor, Prof Stephen Agong’, made what would have amounted to regular talk had the protests at Moi University not happened this week.

The VC cautioned the students against forming associations that would divide them along tribal lines. He said that JOOUST, being a public institution of national repute, does not entertain sectarianism of any kind, be it clan- or tribe-based groupings.

“Only associations or groupings that bear the face of this country will be accepted,” he had said during his inaugural address to first year students at the university’s main campus in Bondo.

The VC noted that the administration would not allow the formation of associations that contravene the code set in the National Cohesion and Integration Act, which defines the boundaries of sectarian conduct in public life.

The VC also urged the students to inculcate good relations with the host community. The university admitted slightly over 2,000 students in the September 2016 intake. Due to its limited resources, the university has partnered with private landlords to house students in hostels within Bondo Town.

The VC said peaceful coexistence with the community was necessary for the students, whose purchasing power has been the driving force of development in Bondo Town in recent years.

He also addressed terrorism fears, explaining that universities are vulnerable to attack any time due to the huge human traffic in and out of the premises. He asked students to always be vigilant and watch out for strange people.

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