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Empty lecture halls as GNLD, side hustle keep students busy

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Most public universities have no minimum lecture hours which allows students to manage their own time as they wish

With thousands of unemployed graduates in the job market, varsity and college students are learning to jump start their careers earlier on at the expense of their education. This is especially so for students that are not pursuing demanding course like Med and Eng. With an education system that places heavy emphasis on the end result, students have mastered the art of passing exams without attending class. This leaves them with a lot of time to pursue other interests.

So what is keeping students busy out of class?

“This would have been a non issue had it not been so rampant now,” explains Dr Kimidi Munei, an Economics lecturer at the University of Nairobi. “Nowadays, the lessons can’t have a human touch as the students are absent.”

He explains that during CAT’s (Continuous Assessment Test) and examinations, a lecturer finds a class full of students who are strangers to him/her.

“It is normally very demoralizing when you find yourself marking more than a hundred copies of exam sheets and yet you only taught a quarter of that number for the whole semester.

In pursuit of money or a head-start in their careers, students have taken to the streets at the expense of their studies.

Side hustle jobs

Asked what he thinks are the causes of such serial absenteeism, Dr. Munei observes students seem to be more interested in extracurricular activities than their course work.

“Other factors also cause it but the part-time jobs that students engage in are the biggest problem. While a student can engage in other things that are destructive, side hustle jobs are normally detrimental as they require to be attended mostly during the day when lectures are going on” says Dr Munei.


Ken Monari, a career consultant with Career Development and Placement Centre (CDPC) informs that university students are gradually losing focus and something needs to be done urgently.

“It’s not more than once that we have handled cases of students failing to secure attachment opportunities because of poor grades in their semester transcripts,” says Monari.

“When students choose to go to work instead of attending lectures there is nothing else they should expect except poor grades.”

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