Why all suspended students from Universities could return after Babu Owino's decision

UoN in 2016 suspended a record 139 students while Moi University suspended an entire Education fourth year class.

In a post accompanied by the petition addressed to National Assembly Committee on Education, Research and Technology chairman Mr Julius Melly, the MP has argued that the students should be pardoned and readmitted back to the universities to continue with their studies.

In the petition, the MP has also urged the parliamentary committee to summon all affected heads the universities (as they infringe right to education) and order the Ministry of Education to quash all suspensions handed to students in the recent past.

The MP further seeks to have parliament enact a bill which will restrain “all heads of public universities from suspending any student on non-academic grounds for more than two years.”

Notably, the MP has averred that the public universities heads have been expelling some students due to political reasons, decrying the harsh punishment handed to students in the matter  suspensions, majorly students in their last years of study.

“We specifically want to point out a case of 41 students suspended by Kirinyaga University for four academic years since 2016. The same case applies to Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi,” the letter reads in part.

In common practice, Universities opt to suspend students, in gravy mistakes including colluding to defraud the institution, engaging in violent protests and engaging in examination malpractices, many cases in which students fail to defend themselves against the accusations.

In April 2016, the University of Nairobi suspended a record 139 students who had allegedly engaged on violent protests, following the students’ elections.

At the time UoN Vice Chancellor Prof Mbithi said, “The University of Nairobi has initiated disciplinary process against the following second batch of students for participating in student unrest and destruction of public property.”

In the same year, Moi University Eldoret suspended a whole class of Education fourth year students after violent protests, after a section of students were suspended. The class was reacting to what they termed as punitive punishment.

At the time in a memo issued to students and signed by Prof Isaac Kimengi, the institution’s deputy vice-chancellor in charge of academics, read: “The University has decided that all (fourth year education students) of them are suspended with immediate effect”.

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