Society / Education
Tuesday, 01 Nov 2016 19:17 EATskenana@kenyafreepress.com
The closure of Meru University last night following student riots is just the latest needless disruption of the academic calendar of the students there, for a reason that was so easy to avoid. According to media reports, the students went to the streets to protest the death of one of their Business Administration colleagues who died after a short illness.
The students blamed the administration for negligence after the institution’s health center failed to treat the student in time. The student had fallen ill with chest complications, and was rushed to the school’s health center only to find it closed. There was also a delay in getting an ambulance to take the student to another hospital.
Surely, why doesn't the university open its health centre 24 hours, when students can and do fall ill at any time? There are many illnesses, such as asthma attacks, that can affect a student suddenly and which require quick intervention. The students have rightly said that the death of their colleague could have been prevented if he received medical treatment on time. Dr Norman Mugambi, who received the ailing student, said he started vomiting before falling down unconscious.
Over in Maseno University, based in Kisumu City, students went on a strike also yesterday to protest the killing of a colleague whose body was found at his hostel along with crude weapons like panga and rungus the students believe were used to kill him. The angry students lynched a man they suspected to have murdered the third year student and torched down his house. The protesters blocked the Kisumu-Busia highway and stoned some motorists.
The suspect is said to have engaged in an argument with the student over an unclear subject although the police suspect that the villager was a drug dealer. With the main suspect now killed, the police have yet to make any arrests.
Students at the University of Eldoret went on a rampage in October protesting against an attempted suicide by the SGC president, who was incensed by unfair administration practices. Precious lives of students are being lost and majorly to villagers residing around the institutions. The cases of death by the villagers have been rampant in Moi University, an institution that is located around the village vicinity.
These two events call to question the procedures for managing risks in universities. While the need for a 24-hour health service is immediately obvious, as in the case of Meru University, universities also need to deal with security issues in a more proactive manner.