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President Ruto faces backlash yet again for his proposal to reform the education system in Kenya

In News
  • During the new year celebration, William Ruto announced that he plans to merge the funding bodies in the higher education sector. 
  • He also disclosed plans to double funding from Sh11 billion to Sh22 billion.
  • However, the merger plan has not been well received.

During the new year presidential address in Mombasa, President William Ruto pledged to double down on efforts to further develop the educational sector in Kenya, particularly tertiary institutions.

In his speech, he disclosed that he would be merging the three funding bodies (Helb, TVET, and University Funding Board) in the higher education sector.

"The government will establish the National Skill and Funding Council that amalgamates Helb, TVET, and University Funding Board," President Ruto disclosed.

He noted that doing this would bridge the funding gap in the higher education sector and resolve a discrepancy in the sector of up to 45%.

Some of the promises the president made include doubling the current Helb funding from Sh11 billion to Sh22 billion and eliminating Helb loan interests.

"We know many universities are facing numerous challenges and significant debts as a result of the programme’s length," the president stated.

This plan, however, has not been well received by stakeholders in the sector. Some of these stakeholders are opposed to the idea of merging these three funding bodies, noting that it may affect the students in the long run.

Chairperson of the University of Nairobi Student Association (UNSA), Melvin Thogo, stated, "while this may look attractive at face value, this is the easiest way to disenfranchise students of this fund."

He also added, "Amalgamating the funds means the university administration will directly receive the money and then disperse them to students."

This is not the first time a sector has opposed an initiative proposed by the President of the country. A few weeks into William Ruto's inauguration, he proposed introducing GMO foods to Kenya. The proposal received a lot of backlashes, both from the public and officials in public office.

This time educational reform seems to be the bone of contention, with both sides arguing why or why not, they believe in the president’s initiative.

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