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Causes and effects of frequent university strikes by students in Kenya


Date Posted: 4/10/2016 3:09:12 AM

Posted By: kennedyk319  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 12

Causes of frequent strikes by university students

1. Exam fever

Examinations have been one of the major causes of strikes in universities in various times. When students are afraid of sitting for their exams they have realized that striking is the best way to avoid sittings for their exams because many times strikes result in universities being closed indefinitely and therefore by this closure the students are saved a great deal from having to sit for their exams.

2. Delayed Helb loans
Delays by the the higher education loans board to disburse the loans to the students has been causing discomfort to many students and this in turn has led to students unrest as they try to air this issue. This has caused many universities to go rampant as they seek to be heard or as they want this issue to be taken care of because they use these loans to pay their fees and also for personal use.

3. Fees increase
In recent times various universities have gone on to increase their fees due to the high cost of living that is being experienced all over the country, this has in turn led to discomfort in various universities as the universities seek for the fees to be lowered so as to accommodate their needs resulting in strikes which have led to massive distraction of property and loss of lives.

4. Students elections
Political rifts have caused student unrest in universities due the many political divisions that have resulted. Students have gone on to fight over their preferred candidates and even after elections have been announced students have accused each other for rigging elections and these accusations have not gone well with many of them. The candidates themselves have not helped the situation as they have been on the frontline inciting their supporters to go rampant.

5. Lack

of teaching equipment and facilities
Lack of facilities and teaching equipments has been a cause of concern especially in technical and medical courses. This has resulted to various demonstrations and strikes so as to make the institutions’ management to act on the issue. But this has on many times fell to deaf ears as their grievances have not been looked into or have been ignored.

6. Lack of students involvement in running of the schools
Lack of student participation in running of the institutions has been a cause of concern. Many a times students have requested for more of their involvement in the running of the institutions but their calls have more or so been falling to deaf ears. The management of various institutions have implemented policies in the institutions without students involvement and also various universities have been rocked by cases of corruption mainly embezzlement of funds, dictatorship and also lack of proper channels for the students to air the issues they are facing.

7. Missing marks
There have been various cases of missing marks in various universities. This is where a student sits for an examination but upon the release of results the student is shocked to find out that it has been indicated that she/he never sat for the exam or it is indicated that his/her examination papers are missing. This has not gone well with many students due to the time wasted in order to resit them or the funds that are spent so as to sit for the exams again. This problem has led to universities being marred by strikes, demonstrations and other methods of unrest so as to prompt the people responsible for this mess to act.

8. Food
Food has been another problem that has caused discomfort in various universities. Many a times students have complained about the quality of food being prepared and also the quantity. In other institutions there has been even outbreak of diseases related to food such as cholera and typhoid due to the poor hygiene when preparing food and this has prompted students to take actions through strikes and demonstrations.

9. Favoritism when awarding marks.
There has been complains in various institutions over how marks are awarded with accusations that at times lecturers tend to favor maybe students of a certain gender, community, family or even religion. This situation has not gone well with majority of students as they claim that they are denied their genuine marks which they have worked hard for and in turn other students who were lazy ten are awarded marks they did not deserve at all due to their relationship with the lectures. This has caused unrest in various institutions.

Implications/effects of university strikes in Kenya
The strikes have had various implications on those involved both positively and negatively and the implications have included:

1. Massive destruction of property and loss of lives
There has been distraction of property such as torching down of university buses and buildings. Students have also gone a notch higher to steal from the public together with disturbing their peace. On the issue of loss of lives some been even shot by stray bullets of police as they engage the students in strikes.

2. Suspensions/expulsion/jail term
Those caught to have committed offences and crimes during these strikes are severely punished by the institutions through suspension and expulsion while others are even jailed for their involvement in these unrest.

3. Time wastage
Time is usually wasted when the students are engaging the law enforcement officers or even when the institutions are closed indefinitely. The closure causes wastage of time because at the time students should be continuing with their studies or even examinations. Time is also wasted when some of the students are suspended because they have to stay at home then come to cover what they were supposed to learn when they were suspended.

4. Financial implications
Funds that would otherwise be spent on other things is in turn spent to pay for destroyed property during strikes or even the money is used for transport and other things once the institutions are closed indefinitely.

1. Disbursement of helb loans in time as to avoid the delay that causes anxiety among students.
2. Proper handling of student election disputes by the various bodies responsible.
3. Fairness when awarding marks
4. More involvement of students in the running of the institutions
5. Purchase of more teaching equipment and improvement in the institutions learning facilities.
6. Fees should only be increased after consultations with the parents and students.
7. Better quality food.

Its always good to exercise one’s right either as a student leader or as a student but one should make sure that you use the right channels to air one’s grievances and tackle the issues affecting the institutions. The management of the universities on the other should not lock out the students from the running of the institutions. The university management should be open to students and should be ready to hear from the students. With this report and its recommendations its everyone’s hope that in future the issues one after another will decrease and also will be solved amicably.

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