, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – More than 300 Baraton University students have challenged the abrupt closure of its Nairobi satellite campus and are now demanding its re-opening to enable them sit their end-of-year examinations.
They protested that the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs, Paul Wahonya, had made a unilateral decision to shut down the Nairobi campus on June 22, directing the students to relocate to the main campus at Kapsabet in Uasin Gishu County.
The officials of the student association, Tobias Juma, Frederick Hamisi, Catherine Mwaura and Lena Nyaboke accused Wahonya of being unreasonable by failing to engage them in mapping out strategies of concluding the examinations before taking any adverse action.
The aggrieved students said they reside and work in Nairobi and it is impossible for them to make urgent traveling arrangements leave alone accommodation in Kapsabet.
“They risk failing to sit their final examinations on account of the disruption,” lawyer Thomas Maosa argued on their behalf before High Court Judge George Odunga.
He said that the closure of the Nairobi campus was erroneous as no formal communication was made to the students.
The students were not given any explanation or offered an opportunity to air their views, he said.
Maosa said the decision to close the Seventh Day Adventist institution will cause untold hardship to the students before they have completed their studies.
“The actions by the university administration are unlawful, irregular and unwarranted and are likely to infringe on the rights of students to fair hearing,” he said.
Justice Odunga directed Maosa serve the university’s management pending the hearing of the case on July 4.
The parties are at liberty to engage in negotiations to end the crisis.