Egerton University students at the main campus in Njoro today staged demonstrations along the streets of the institution to protest new examination fees allegedly imposed on those who are required to sit for supplementary examinations come Monday next week.
The students matched peacefully chanting anti-administration slogans and calling for the resignation of the deputy vice chancellor in charge of academic affairs Prof. Alexander Kahi. They blamed the head of academic affairs and the administration of failing to listen to their pleas.
Some of the students matched into lecture halls and flushed out their colleagues who were attending lectures and did not want to be part of the demonstrations. The students also caused anxiety and mayhem as they moved along Njoro main road carrying twigs and placards.
The university administration had three weeks ago produced a notice copied to all heads of departments which abolished retakes and called on to various departments to embrace the new program referred to as resits which requires a student who failed a unit in the previous academic year to only register and resit the unit’s examinations instead of attending lectures as was a requirement in the past.
The notice demanded that each student who failed in a unit fills out a resit form and pays Ksh. 1000 per unit before he or she will be allowed to resit the examinations.
Cylus Makoha, a student leader at the institution, told a local publication that student union had on several occasions urged the administration to review the fees attached to the supplementary examinations and ensure that it was affordable rather than forcing it down the throats of students. He said the union had written request letters to the administration but all have remained unanswered to date.
“The amount being charged is too much for a student. We had spoken to the university administration and had even written letters of complaint on the said subject but so far they have done nothing to solve the situation”, Cylus told the publication in an interview today.
According to Ian Gatere, the SUEU Director in charge of Academics, there is a lot of laxity from the administration. Ian said that it is not possible for students to sit for the said exams on Monday yet the office of the Academic registrar and examinations and timetabling department is yet to produce an official examinations timetable which will be used.