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Govt mulls abolition of parallel degree programs in public varsities

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu noted that this might be one of the issues contributing to the current lecturers’ strike/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The government is mulling the abolition of parallel degree programs in public universities across the country as a result of what it terms as a lack of accountability of the monies generated.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu noted that this might be one of the issues contributing to the current lecturers’ strike.

Speaking during his weekly briefing on Sunday, Esipisu indicated that such a move would be in line with the exam reform process currently being undertaken by the Education Ministry.

“You know with this reform of the exam system, one of the results of that is the potential complete removal of the Parallel structure,” he stated. “You know very well that there have been issues about accountability in terms of the resources coming out of that parallel structure.”

The Spokesman further indicated that funds raised through these programs have not been accounted for.

“The absence of funding from that parallel structure obviously is something that needs to be looked at in terms of the underlying reasons for the current problems,” he said.

“Money that is paid from those programs to lecturers and to universities is not exactly in the public view and has not probably been accounted for in the way you would expect other government resources to be,” he stated.

He however expressed confidence that Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi will be able to deal with the situation.

“People do feel that all these things need to be put on the table as part of the discussions. What is it that is driving unrest in terms of the lecturers’ position? But this is a matter that I think the Cabinet Secretary is seized with and he has shown that he does get his work done so we do not think it is out of his hands,” he stated.

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University lecturers rejected a Sh10 billion pay deal that would see the lowest paid teaching staff earn Sh91,593.

Under the package, professors pay bracket will open up to an upper limit of Sh240,491 per month.

University Academic Staff Union (UASU) last week deal as a drop in the ocean and announced massive nationwide strike starting Monday.

UASU is insisting on a 30 percent pay rise as opposed to the 3 percent they would get under the proposed deal.

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