Higher Learning In Kenya:Disturbing Trend

Higher learning

The Kenyan higher learning institutions hit the spotlight again for the wrong reasons

Following the death of Mercy Keino, a Kenyan university student, there have been reports of the increasing of the rot within our higher  learning institutions

It is every parent’s dream to have their children enroll in the best of the Kenyan higher learning institutions. This is best demonstrated by how parents keep track of their children’s performance in national examinations.

Most parents will do anything to achieve this. Even if it means taking their children to the most expensive primary and secondary schools in Kenya.

Poverty is no exception as those in the lower economic bracket see their children as their gateway out of poverty. As such there are those who have gone an extra mile in selling off their family property to raise school fees for their children for their higher education.

Entry into Kenyan higher learning institutions

This is all dependent on an individual’s performance in the national Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

Entry into the Kenyan higher learning institutions is not dependent on one’s economic status. As such students from all economic backgrounds end up getting enrolled into these institutions. This is in a way clearly indicates how our higher learning institutions promote access to education as a basic right

However, recent media reports on the rot in our Kenyan higher learning institutions raise so many questions.

Access to higher learning Vs access to material property

Our higher learning institutions seem not to be what we think they are.

It’s time for parents out there with students in our higher learning institutions to pay more interest in the following:

  • Public image of the institution their children are enrolled in
  • Course /academic vis-à-vis  financial requirements
  • Geographical location of the learning institution

The above 3 factors greatly influence extra curricula activities taken up by students in higher learning institution. This is for both male and female students

The high intake of students into higher learning institutions in Kenya seems not to match up to the existing infrastructure. Hence reason why most students will always look for opportunities of not sharing rooms in the hostels due to congestion.

For those already residing in the university hostel, there is a high competition on who has a well furnished room. This is so because most universities do not have well furnished recreation facilities/rooms for their students.

These infrastructural gaps have led most students to look for ways of enriching themselves materially instead of fully focusing on their studies.

Higher learning institutions in Kenya: Male students

In one of the   dailies, a case was given of this male student  in one of the higher learning institutions who was recruited into a gang so as to provide financial support to his parents.

Apparently, the parents of this male student sold off their property to raise the funds required to enroll him into one of the public Kenyan universities. Upon enrollment into college, the parents started expecting this male student to support them financially.

Not sure how these parents expected their son to support them.

The male student became friends with another student who introduced him to this gang that was notorious for carjacking, and even robbery with violence. All this was done by the student to enable him raise money both for his upkeep while in college in addition to supporting his family back at home. It is said that this student graduated yet none of his peers saw him sit for exams.

Higher learning institutions in Kenya: Female students

This is where a huge problem lies.This is so because of the common maxim around “by educating a girl,one educates an entire village”.But what are the educated girls enrolled in higher learning institutions indulging themselves with?

Media reports indicate that female students have lowered their moral standards to a point where money means everything to them.

Like one author said, “we are trading on dangerous grounds when we have people who no longer rely on the principles and moral conscience as their guide”.

This is what some female students in our learning institutions have stooped to.

Some of our political leaders don’t make this easy as they are known to prey on these intelligent ladies in return for financial favor.

In one of the dailies it was reported that in our higher learning institutions, the 1st and 2nd year students look for those men out there who can give them money to buy TVs, fridges & laptops for their course work in return for certain escapades; those in 3rd year will look for people who can buy for them cars and rent for them houses outside the campus; whilst those in 4th year will look for people who can buy and furnish for them apartments in addition to securing them a job.

One lady who is studying to become a lawyer even indicated that she doesn’t really care about being infected with diseases since this is a life she has chosen and through these escapades with politicians and businessmen that she has been able to put up a business.

Higher learning in Kenya: Who is to blame?

I’m not so sure on who do we blame here, is it the parents who expected their children  to support them financially whilst still students or the students themselves for making the wrong choices in life

In my view, parents need to do more to sensitize their children on the importance of leading honest lives and being morally upright.

Otherwise there is much that ought to be done in order to clear the rot in our higher learning institutions.

Your views are welcomed on how we can improve the situation in our higher learning institutions in Kenya.


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