NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – University of Nairobi (UoN) students have staged demonstrations to demand for speedy resolution of the ongoing strike by the lecturers which enters its second week Thursday.
In Nairobi, students from UoN’s Main campus, Chiromo and Kabete campus expressed displeasure with the slow pace at which the matter was being resolved, urging the Education Ministry to move with speed to address issues raised by the lectures on the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
“We want to compel the government to have negotiations with the lectures,” said Apiyo Apiyo, Organizing Secretary, Students Organization of Nairobi University (SONU) while addressing students at UoN Main Campus on Wednesday. “Whether they are signing the CBA or not, we want our lectures back in class.”
According to Apiyo, the stalemate occasioned by the strike was unfortunate and ought not to have come up if an atmosphere of dialogue was put in place by stakeholders.
“We’ve been patient for too long that is why we have resorted to demonstrations,” he said adding, ” We consulted the ministry and all other stakeholders but nothing has been forthcoming.”
The students also demanded for the release of funds by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), which they say have been delayed, making their survival in halls of residences difficult.
“HELB is yet to credit students’ accounts so we want that money disbursed as soon as they can release it,” the student leader told Capital FM News.
Other universities as well are taking part in the demos sanctioned by the Kenya University Students’ Association (KUSA) – the umbrella body for all university students organizations – with the clarion call, ” we want our lectures back to class.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court adjourned a case filed by the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) and the Federation of Kenya Employers in January to pave way for negotiations.
According to IPUCCF Chairperson Prof Ratemo Michieka, the council is working on counter proposals to convince lecturers to begin negotiations geared towards addressing their demands.