School Reopening: University Students Write Open Letter to Uhuru

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta pictured during the 5th Extra-Ordinary summit on July 27, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta pictured during the 5th Extra-Ordinary summit on July 27, 2020.
  • Students from various universities, through the presidents of their unions, have penned a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta demanding the reopening of universities in mid-September.

    Speaking to, Kenyatta University Students Union President Bernard Karanja, who also serves as the University Presidents Council (UPC) Secretary General, noted that the union was set to table a petition in Parliament to the same effect on Wednesday, August 26.

    In the letter, the students lamented that their future was uncertain arguing that other sectors in the econmy were already reopening.

    They also lamented that Education CS George Magoha did had not sought their opinion before implementing Covid-19 containment policies in the Education sector.

    The Kenyatta University main gate in Kiambu County.
    The Kenyatta University main gate in Kiambu County.

    "It is in the brokeness of spirit that as true leaders, Our people wish for you to direct the Ministry of Education to reconsider its position on reopening of universities and further that all the universities that have met the MOH and WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines reopens by latest mid-September.

    "Address the sad state of the Ministry of Education where decisions are made by a few and pushed down the throats of the comrades with rero consultation," read the letter in part.

    Other members of the council who signed the letter Technical University of Kenya Students Assocaition Chairperson (Cliff Oketch), Multimedia University of Kenya's (Jenniffer Mukami), Moi University (Albert Maloba), Dedan Kimathi University (John Theuri), Cooperative University of Kenya (Brian Obiero) and Strathmore University (Shannon Mujera).

    Karanja noted that for as long as the institutions remained closed, the fate of over 300,000 hung in the balance with some having spent more than seven years studying four-year courses due to hardships.

    "We incorporated the council in February 2020. We are trying to push for the reopening of the university. According to what the CS has said, the ministry is ready to open the schools because the curve is flattening.

    "Given an opportunity, we can still follow guidelines. Tomorrow, we are going to table a petition in Parliament. We want the Ministry of Education to reconsider their position that universities should reopen in January," Karanja told

    Magoha has previously faced the wrath of parents after insisting that the reoprning of schools was contigent on the country's Covid-19 curve flattening.

    Parents, in a demand letter by lawyer Harrison Kinyajui, gave Education CS George Magoha an ultimatum to reopen schools.

    They accused him of discriminating against children on the basis of their age, yet adults were conducting business as usual. 

    At the time, the CS maintained that only President Uhuru Kenyatta had the powers to dictate when schools would reopen.

    On Tuesday, August 25, the CS however. lessened his stance noting that schools could possibly reopen before January 2021 if the daily positive cases subsided.

    Education CS George Magoha addresses legislators in Parliament February 2020