, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says his ministry will not get involved in the operations of governing councils of universities following the recent spate of unrest that has seen some of them closed indefinitely.
Speaking after flagging off the distribution of over 5.4 million books under the Tusome Initiative, Matiang’i said the Governing Councils of the various institutions need to take control of such situations.
The Cabinet Secretary stressed the need for the various boards to ensure that universities run smoothly.
“Universities are managed by the Universities Act and by Governing Councils. You see if tomorrow I make a pronouncement on a university, you will be the first ones to criticise us for interfering… that we do not want the independence of universities,” he stated.
He was categorical that universities need to work independently with their own governance institutions.
“They have councils, they have Vice Chancellors and they have Chancellors so they make decisions independently. We on the other hand only make policy decisions,” the CS stated.
The University of Nairobi, Masinde Muliro and Laikipia University have been closed indefinitely in the past week following student unrest over several grievances.
“I respect the decisions of the University of Nairobi because they have been made by a competent Senate of the University, a competent Governing Council of the University and a competent Chancellor of the University,” Matiang’i maintained.
“Masinde Muliro University has got a competent Chancellor, they have a Vice Chancellor and they have a competent Senate. They have taken decisions and we have asked for reports. Where they need us to advice on policy matters we will do so but we are not going to manage universities through the press,” he stated.
At the Laikipia University, students were still protesting as late as Wednesday even after the institution was closed on Tuesday.
Matiang’i pointed out that the ministry is only involved in developing policies, and will not interfere in the management of higher learning institutions.
“We all must refrain from this habit of trying to push so hard so that we make pronouncements. I have been seeing in social media many times people asking me to comment on this, that and other aspect of what is happening at the universities,” he said.