Society / Education
Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 15:46 EATjackieasmisi94@gmail.com
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology has been closed after three days of student protests. The protests which have since disrupted learning were over the increased fees without prior notice. The students also boycotted classes as they were seen hanging out in different spots both inside and outside the university compound.
The decision to close the school was communicated after a meeting by the university senate today. “The Main Campus is closed to all undergraduate students after they persistently disrupted learning in the institution," said academic affairs registrar Caroline Onyancha.
Onyancha also noted that students and lecturers have been ejected from lecture rooms and some university property has been destroyed by some groups of students.
On Wednesday evening, anti-riot police officers stormed the university after a confrontation between protesting students and security officials. This comes after students stoned a building used by security officers.
According to head of students’ organization Ms. Winnie Opiyo, tension had started building up at the university after students learnt that the senate was not ready to open discussions on the issue of fees and other charges, leading to confrontations with security officials.
She also said that the students could not afford new fees amounting to Sh29,500 per semester. “The students are protesting against the introduction of a Sh3,000 fee for library services and Sh5,000 for ICT and noted that accommodation charges for first year students who reported last month had gone up from Sh5,000 to Sh16,000.” said Ms Opiyo.
The university has now been closed to all undergraduates in the Kakamega campus. However, the decision to close the university will not affect postgraduate students. The closure comes five months after students protested a move by the administration to block those with fees balances from sitting their exams.
The writer is a student of communication and journalism at Moi University and intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.