- Opiyo Wandayi
Leader of the Minority in the National Assembly, Opiyo Wandayi, on Friday, January 27, expressed his reservations against plans by the government to privatise public universities.
Wandayi, in a statement to the press, poked holes in the plan, arguing that it was not the ideal solution to the constraints experienced by public universities.
He explained that the proposal by Trade Cabinet Secretary(CS) Moses Kuria to privatise public universities would lead to a decline in the quality of education offered.
The ODM politician further claimed that government funds were channelled to other institutions owned by political leaders hence leaving public universities crippled with debt.Undated photo of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Opiyo Wandayi during a past press briefing.The Standard
"When we privatise Universities because they are having financial difficulties, we are telling them that money should come before quality education and research,” Wandayi stated.
Additionally, Wandayi stated that the move gave individuals the power to remove the accountability measures put in place, leading to the prioritisation of profitability.
"Privatisation has a real danger of removing the academic checks and balances that protect university standards.
“It will transform these institutions into corporations whose primary responsibility is to their shareholders who will focus on driving down costs and maximising profits,” Wandayi added.
The minority leader further challenged Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu to look out for policy changes initiated by Kuria arguing the latter did not have the authority to make changes in the docket.
Earlier on Tuesday, January 24, Trade Cabinet Secretary(CS) Moses Kuria announced plans by the government to kickstart the privatisation of universities to clear the debt accumulated by the institutions in billions.
The CS welcomed international investors to partner with the government and affirmed that he was waiting for approval from Education CS Ezekiel Machogu.
“I am speaking with some of the international investors who are willing to partner with our universities to privately run some of them profitably," Kuria disclosed.
Egerton University which was among the hardest hit universities removed five courses from its list of academic programmes on Thursday, January 18, to stay afloat.Trade CS Moses Kuria addresses mourners during his sister, Pauline Nyokabi Kuria's burial on Monday, January 23, 2023.Moses Kuria
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