University student leaders will only hold office for a term of one year and will be eligible for one more if a Bill before Parliament is passed and assented to by the President.
The move will bar perennial leaders like Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino, who has been at the helm of Student Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu) since 2010.
The Universities (Amendment) Bill, which is backed by the government, has been tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Also, it takes away power of students to elect their leaders directly, which will now be done through an electoral colleges system.
The students council will be governed by a chairperson, vice-chairperson, who must be of opposite gender from the chairperson, a treasurer and secretary-general, who will be the secretary to the council.
“For the purpose of conducting the election of the members of the students council, the student association shall constitute itself into electoral colleges based on either academic departments, school or faculties,” the Bill says.
The students from each department, school or faculty in the university will elect three representatives, of whom at least one must be of opposite gender from amongst persons who are not candidates.
The students’ elections have always been marred with chaos. For instance, two students died at Cooperative University College in February while campaigning.
At the same time, the Bill is seeking to take away the mandate of admitting students into public universities and colleges from Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), a state agency, and place it on respective universities and colleges.
Kuccps will now only develop career guidance programmes.
“The admission and placement of students to universities or colleges shall vest in the respective universities or colleges,” the Bill states.
Kuccps, which replaced the Joint Admission Board, is a creation of Universities Act 2012.
It is tasked with coordinating and placement of students in public universities and colleges and ensuring fairness, equity and openness.
In January, the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoked five doctorate of philosophy degrees awarded to students of Kisii University in 2014.
CUE also said it does not recognise the degrees of two students who were irregularly admitted into masters degree programmes at the institution from other local universities.
“Student admissions were highly irregular based on a postgraduate credit transfer policy that is not provided for in either the Kisii University Statutes or the Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014,” said Henry Thairu, the chairman.
The Bill will also empower the President, on the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary after receiving approval from CUE, to revoke a charter.
The cabinet secretary for Education will also have power to alter a charter.
SOURCE>>> DAILY NATION