University Placement is suspended
University Placement is suspended . The failure of the team established to examine the educational system to submit its report on time has delayed the admission of candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2022 to universities.
The 173,345 pupils who qualified for university as well as additional students hoping to be accepted into higher institutions have expressed anxiety as a result of this.
Students in Kenya typically enroll in universities and colleges in September, but there are worries that many won’t receive state funding and that tuition costs may rise.
Additionally, students need time to apply for funding from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb). The placement of students is done by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps), while those who opt for private institutions process their own admissions.
However, the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) is seeking an extension of time to finalize its work, as its six-month term expired in March before it could conduct national validation on its recommendations.
The PWPER had been tasked with reviewing the education system in Kenya, including both basic and tertiary education, with a focus on reforms.
A source within the PWPER stated that they had collected views from around the country and now need to go back to the people to confirm if their recommendations have been captured in the report.
This is part of the public participation process, and without it, the validity of their work could be challenged in court.
In order to submit the report by the end of the fiscal year in June, the team is requesting a one and a half month extension.
A national conference where delegates analyze and cast ballots on the recommendations could be used as part of the validation process.
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Much of the work on basic education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has already been finished by the PWPER, but the problem of higher education still has to be solved.
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According to the source, since the advent of Kenya’s present educational system, the 8-4-4 system, improvements have mainly concentrated on improving primary and secondary schools while ignoring universities.
In January, when Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu released the KCSE results, he directed Kuccps to quickly establish the number of available places in universities, colleges, and TVET institutions to facilitate the placement of learners.
The PWPER is hopeful that once they are granted the extension, President William Ruto will provide directions on some of their recommendations, so that the placement process can commence.
The PWPER had previously presented two interim reports to President Ruto, with the first report focusing on basic education and the second report touching on university education and TVET.
The second report was not made public, and it is believed that the President was not convinced by some of the recommendations.
One of the eagerly awaited recommendations is on government sponsorship of students. President Ruto has hinted at the possibility of the government not funding all students who qualify for university education.
He has questioned why children who attend private schools and pay high fees should be eligible for government funding when they go to university, suggesting that parents who can afford to pay for their children’s education should do so.
Due to this, parents and students are now concerned about how economically disadvantaged individuals can access higher education.
The PWPER’s mandate also calls for it to examine and suggest legislation that would make it easier to combine the Helb, TVET, and university funding boards. Given that it would depend on the amount of money available, this might have an effect on the number of students the government sponsors.
While government financing has remained largely flat in recent years, the number of students who qualify for higher education has expanded dramatically. Universities now owe billions of shillings in debt as a result of this situation.
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