Parallel degree students may be thrown under the bus because State house spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, said in a press conference a few weeks ago that the government is looking to scrap the parallel program from all public universities.
The main reason he gave was that the money collected from the program in various schools is not properly accounted for. Another issue that arose from this is students who are classified as underqualified, are admitted in the universities programs even without the necessary academic qualifications.
This decision may be take up following CS Matiang’i’s reforms in universities. “You know with this reform of the exam system, one of the results is the potential complete removal of the parallel structure. There have been issues about accountability in terms of the resources coming out of that particular structure,” said Esipisu. He also said that it may be the reason why lecturers are on strike. The lecturers however came out to deny the statehouse spokesman’s words. In a statement sent to media houses, UASU National Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said that there’s no linkage whatsoever between the strike and the plan to scrap off the parallel degree program.
However, both the issue of lack of or poor accountability when it comes to the spending of the money collected from parallel programs as well as admission of underqualified students seems to be more of a corruption issue than anything. Parallel programs have pass grades for enrolment just as the regular program does. If students who do not qualify are allowed to enroll or admitted, this then shows lenience in the people in charge of admissions or sheer corruption and lack of ethics thereof. The government and ministry should instead tighten the reigns on admissions and accountability of funds as opposed to giving up on the program as a whole. The parallel program in public university has been and still is of benefit to many students. It would be a shame to see it go to the dogs.