Once again, students in Kenyan public universities are likely to be forced to miss attending classes even more than they already have this year.
Most universities in the country have closed for elections or will do so as election day, 26th October, has been declared a holiday by Education CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i so as to allow citizens to vote.
As you may know, lecturers are planning to start their strike at the end of the month, right after the repeat elections are held. This means that students who were expecting to simply break for elections and then return afterwards are in for a big surprise.
Lecturers gave notice of their forthcoming strike earlier on in the year. Earlier on this month UASU Sec General, Dr. Constantine Wesonga while giving the notice stated that the strike will be due to the university council’s failure to implement basic salary and house allowances as provided under the 2013-2017 CBA and to protest the violation of the workers fundamental and freedoms under Article 41 of the Kenyan constitution.
Lecturers downed their tools in December last year delaying the 2016/2017 academic year. They once again had a strike in July after the union complained that the CBA was not fully implemented. Once again, studies were delayed. This is set to be the third lecturers’ strike.
Some people’s graduations have been delayed and this is making them angry because they just want to finish up and go though others are happy to get so much free time away from the stress of studying and having to be at school every day.
If indeed students return to school in January as is expected since a semester cannot begin in November and end before the Christmas holidays, some University of Nairobi students will suffer the most having missed two semesters this year however all public university students will be disadvantaged.