Cabinet Secretary For Education, Mr. Ezekiel Machogu in a CBC meeting in Nanyuki stated that all public Universities in the Country will have to seek their own funding. The government will withdraw monetary support due to the financial constraints the country is facing.
“I’m going to move around each and every university in Kenya because a number is faced with financial problems and we are encouraging that they must generate their own income because the exchequer as it is now is not going to continue funding more.”
The Education CS made this remarks on Friday 4th November 2022.
According to the newly appointed CS, about 25.9% of Kenya’s budget goes into education, and this is no longer sustainable.
This comes along after President Ruto’s move to stop fuel subsidies, allowing Wanjiku to feel the pinch of the ever rising petroleum prices, as dictated by the world market.
Universities Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Geoffrey Monari recently said the number of students qualifying for universities is increasing every year and that it’s becoming unsustainable for the government to add financial allocation to support the institutions.
‘’The funding requirement for 2022 cohort of 145,145 students is Ksh.32.7 million while available funds are Ksh.12.6 million. The incoming cohort is larger than the graduates exiting by 52,195 hence it’s expected that the funding requirements will increase,” noted Monari.
Many Kenyans are now trying to understand the ramifications of such a government policy.
Here are the potential consequences of funding withdrawal in universities.
Raised University School Fees
The first consequence will be the spike in university fees for students.
The average student spends Ksh.40,000 per year on school fees alone. Inclusion of accommodation and daily expenditure raises the sum to around Ksh.80,000. This excludes HELB loan.
With Universities seeking new forms of revenue collection, school fee will be a one-stop solution to raising funds. Parents and guardians will have to dig deeper into their pockets to fund their kids in campus.
Reduced high school to university transition
As a direct consequence, many Kenyans will miss out on the chance to join universities due to lack money necessary to pay for the higher education.
Kenyans have a low purchasing power and they will most definitely not afford the university fees.
Influx Of Public Demonstrations
There is no denying that University students are some of the most chaotic human beings when it comes to fighting for what they think is best for them.
‘Comrades’ are never more united than when on the streets hurling stones at GSU officers who are usually fruitlessly dispersing the angry crowds with tear-gas canisters.
The government will have to deal with this problem in advance.
Already admitted students will probably not allow an increase in their school fees. University of Nairobi has been know to participate in student strikes more than any other University.
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Any strike that causes significant damage in school property leads to school closure and ultimately an increase in the number of years a student will stay in campus.
The average Bachelor’s course will take more than 4 years and Medical students will grow old while still perusing through their academic material in university.
Higher probability of lecturer strikes
Egerton University and Moi University are some of the top institutions which are grappling with a management crisis after lecturers laid down their tools over pay cuts.
Kisii University, on the other hand, has debt of over Ksh.700 million that is supposed to be paid to the recently retrenched staff in the university. In 2022, the university stopped subsidizing various foodstuffs for students, including meat and bread. Any stoppage of funding will mean that the university plunges into a funds crisis and both staff and students will suffer.
In 2019, about 11 universities were caught in a Ksh.9.7 billion tax evasion racket that threatened their closure.
Despite the negative effects of the government move, it is important to understand that Kenya has no option rather than the path stipulated by Mr. Machogu.
In the road to economic recovery, Ruto and his service men & women have to take painful measures to secure the country’s economic stability.