The Government has launched a major crackdown on public universities in what Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said is aimed at streamlining operations and improving the quality of education. In a raft of circulars sent to public universities vice chancellors and principals of constituent colleges, Prof Kaimenyi has demanded a list of status reports that he wants filed in his office within three months.
On top of the demands is a complete account for the funds the universities generate from the privately sponsored academic programmes. He also wants a full status report on employment of staff, teaching and postgraduate supervision and management of exams.
These demands are contained in six separate circulars released by Kaimenyi to public universities’ managements. In a circular dated March 24, 2014, Kaimenyi argues that universities have for more than a decade been mounting parallel academic programmes to cater for self-sponsored students thus generating colossal sums of money and now wants a report on expenditure.
The CS said the principle underlying the programmes was to provide alternative sources of funding to improve teaching and research over and above what they receive from the exchequer. Sources familiar with the parallel programmes funding told The Standard that public universities rake in more than Sh10 billion annually.
And to check the quality of teaching in the universities, Kaimenyi has demanded a full report on teaching of all academic programmes.
“There are cases where supervision of post-graduate students is wanting in that supervisors do not file monthly reports as per the university statutes,” the circular reads in part.
He said some departments do not conduct the expected number of continuous assessment tests and some are never marked in time.
“Indicate the number of reported cases of members of staff who have not submitted their monthly or termly progress reports of post graduate students as per the statues,” the circular dated March 25 partly reads.