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Standoff at Nakuru college over suspended exams as students fault school

EDUCATION
By Kennedy Gachuhi | August 3rd 2021
A section of Bahati Institute of Business and Administration Studies students protesting at the school compound in Bahati Nakuru county on August 2, 2021 over suspended exams. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Students of Bahati Institute of Business and Administration Studies were yesterday embroiled in a bitter exchange with the administration over suspended exams.

Thomas Mwaura, the institute's principal, was at pains to explain contents of a leaked email that revealed his role in the suspension of the exams.

Learners had turned up for their exams yesterday morning only to learn that the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) had not listed them for the tests.

Led by the students’ council president Barrack Lekupe, the learners marched to the administration block demanding answers.

“It is heartbreaking that we came ready for exams only to be told the institution had not booked the exams for us. The reasons given are not valid and are an injustice to us,” said Lekupe. 

An email seen by The Standard and addressed to Knec indicated that the institution and learners were not ready for the exams.

“This is to inform you that our institution will not be in a position to sit the Knec business July 2021 series. This is due to absenteeism and non-payment of fees by our students,” the mail dated July 25 read in part.

“Most of our students failed to report back and were not able to honour the school commitment,” Mwaura further wrote.

The learners, however, questioned the move by the institute, noting that majority of them had already paid their tuition and examination fees.

“The school should have booked exams for those who don’t owe it a coin. It is unfair for them to punish the entire school because of a few people,” said Lekupe.

The students disputed claims of absenteeism, saying they had enough proof of having attended lessons in full.

“The issue of us not being present is a scapegoat. We have copies of our attendance sheets for the entire period in question,” said Lekupe.

Defending his move, Mwaura, who admitted sending an email to Knec for suspension of the exams, said there were more reasons behind his decision.

“Knec has introduced new guidelines which include course and project work. The students have not completed them to be in compliance with the new regulations,” said Mwaura.

But the students could hear none of the principal’s explanations, noting that some of them recently concluded their projects and submitted them.

“It is unfortunate that the students had to go searching for computers elsewhere to do their projects. Computers at the institution failed since last year and were not repaired,” said Margaret Njeri, another student.

Zachary Mwaniki explained that the school had failed to get enough teachers to facilitate their learning.

“We are nearly 300 students with only three tutors who have to teach four different units. We have to make extra effort to study some units, which have no tutors yet we pay fees in full,” said Benson Muiga.

The students were evicted from the institute, with Mwaura directing them to report back in November when the next exams shall be administered.

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