An assessment done independently by Magazine Reel has unearthed how students are leaving institutions of higher learning with an emphasis on Egerton university on a daily basis since the start of the lecturers strike. The university dons have been on strike for more than four days and have promised to stay put until their demands for the implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are met by the government.
As opposed to the usual population at the Njoro based varsity, today the institution’s highways are fairly clear with just a few students either headed to the pavilion grounds or the students center. Since day one of the lecturers strike, Magazine Reel has noted that students are boarding buses back home. Close to a quarter of the population are back home with their parents.
Last week, a group of medical students from the institution also expressed concerns about both the doctors and dons strike. One of the student leaders Ben Onsase told the press that the students were contemplating on going back home. He said that they have been left wondering whether they will be able to go as per the university calendar if the strike fails to culminate.
According to Onsase, the medical students have never been taught for the past 1 month and not even certain that they will attend lectures before end of this semester. He said this has been because the doctors now on strike also double up as their lecturers. Ben also expressed concern over the lecturers strike noting that medical students will continue to suffer even if the government strikes a deal with the doctors. He said that the same doctors will continue to stand in solidarity with the lecturers because they are the same people in two different movements/unions.
The courts had given the doctors up to Thursday this week to ensure that they strike a deal with the government, but up to yesterday there was no deal between the two groups. The courts had said that KMPDU officials will face a jail term of three months starting Thursday should they fail to reach a conclusion.
It is not only Egerton university students who are leaving the institution for their homes, others including those at University of Nairobi, Maasai mara, Maseno, MMUST, Kenyatta and JKUAT are also boarding buses back home as the Dons strike continue to eat up the campuses activities.
Both UASU and UNTESU officials have said that they rejected an offer of Ksh 3000 from the government. They have promised to stay put until the Jubilee government agrees to their demands.