KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Dr Mercy Wahome. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Millions of learners eyeing a place in higher learning institutions can now sigh relief.

This is after Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) extended the application deadline following an uproar among applicants, teachers and parents.

Kenyans expressed frustrations accessing the KUCCPS portal, which they said was either too slow or not opening.

Due to the challenges, Dr Mercy Igoki, a parent, said the deadline set for the application was not sufficient.

Dr Igoki said the deadline set was applicable when systems are working. "That KUCCPS  portal is a nightmare. It is simply not opening. It is not working," she said.

KUCCPs has opened its portal for students to apply for courses in university, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) and Teachers Training Colleges.

The agency also opened a window for all learners who had been locked out of college from 2012 to 2022 to apply for placement. 

Dr Igoki faulted KUCCPS for sitting down as the system jammed for the entire two weeks without providing a solution.

"What happens to applicants who have to go miles away to a cyber. That system is not able to support the number of students you expect to log in same time," she said.

KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Mercy Wahome acknowledged the challenges saying the agency will recover time wasted to allow learners to apply.

"I am well aware of the frustrations parents and students are experiencing as they make their applications," Dr Wahome said.

"The deadline is not set yet. We will observe the number of applicants, and efficiency of the system and listen to the voice of Kenyans," she added. 

However, the KUCCPS boss clarified that the process of payment and validation is longer than before, significantly affecting the agency.

"The success of an application is not dependent on the time of day. We did away with school applications so everyone is a first-time applicant," she said.

Wahome assured parents that no learner will be disadvantaged from the process. "The application deadline will be extended until we are sure no one is disadvantaged," she promised.

The KUCCPS boss further said learners will have two more chances to apply for courses and universities of their choice.

"We will have two revision exercises to allow those who will not have applied or will not have secured a course," said Dr Wahome.

Machakos School Principal Benson Manoo urged KUCCPS to borrow a leaf from other agencies with systems that handle high traffic.

"Let the KUCCPS benchmark with other departments for efficiency and robustness," he said.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary General Akelo Misori said the efficiency of the system is important than deadline extension.

"If time is extended and systems are not working, it is more frustrating. I've had two weeks of sleepless nights as I tried to help a group of kids that I mentor," Misori said.