Kenya Public universities hope for september re-opening as the KUCCPS chief Executive speaks about the Placement of 2019 candidates

Public universities hope to resume in September after the institutions’ calendar entered the long holiday period that runs for three months.

Candidates who sat the 2019 KCSE exams will begin studies then as they have been guaranteed university admission by the placement service.

On Monday, Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum (IPUCCF)—an umbrella body for vice chancellors—told Newstamu that they will seek to first recover the time lost when they reopen.

They have lost an estimated eight weeks of learning during the 2019-20 academic year that was cut short following closures over the coronavirus on March 15.

Stephen Kiama, University of Nairobi vice chancellor, said the institutions will await expert advice before reopening.

University Academic Staff Union secretary general Constantine Wasonga on Monday called for preparations on what the institutions will look like post-coronavirus.

Wasonga said there was a need to introduce new social distancing restrictions to guard public health.

He also proposes measures to protect lecturers, job protection and funding for research to provide solutions to corona virus challenges.

“Academic staff working on the front line should be provided with PPE and emergency allowances, the ministry should also look into the provision of adequate health insurance,” Wasonga said.


In February, Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service said 125,449 candidates who had scored C+ (plus) and above would secure a place in universities under the government sponsorship programme.

However, delays in the placement process have caused fears that admissions could take longer.

John Muraguri, KUCCPS chief executive told Newstamu that the process is on course despite the uncertainty.

“We are in the selection process and we will inform the students where they will be expected to join university when we have finalised,” Muraguri told the Star on Monday.

Traditionally, the agency places applicants to universities by the end of April while admissions begin in September.

On April 1, the agency opened for the second revision of courses which gave close to 45,000 applicants who failed to secure their initial degree or diploma courses a second chance to revise their choices. The process lasted a fortnight and was completed on April 15.

“These are extraordinary times but we are working around the clock and doing our best to remain on schedule,” Muraguri said.


University of Nairobi’s Prof George Omondi said long before the coronavirus brought a halt to in-person classes nationwide, universities had confronted disruption in learning activities with the same dramatic effects.

In particular, Omondi who is also secretary of the Uasu UoN chapter says, the institutions have suffered most due to periodic industrial action. The longest being the 76-day lecturers’ strike of 2017.

“There’s been endless speculation during this pandemic about what might happen to students whose education has been abruptly disrupted, but previous disturbances offer real-life examples of the impact of campus shutdowns,” Omondi said.

He said the institutions are autonomous and have no national examination obligations like primary and secondary schools, hence, it is easy for adjustments and recovery.

However, Omondi warned of a spike in learners seeking to defer studies at the end of the lockdown and delays in graduation.

“Some might just need time to process the ways in which they’ve been impacted by the pandemic, whether that’s the loss of family income or missing out on major milestones during their senior year,” front line

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