Egerton University has joined the league of local higher education institutions with the best architecturally designed gates, after launching a multi-million-shilling gate.
The Njoro-based university had to part with Sh70 million for a hi-tech gate that doubles up as a security control complex.
The security complex consists of a central piece, entrance and exit. The central piece comprises of a guardroom, control room and a watch tower.
Tucked within the complex is a reception area, a security office and a mini-mart, where students and visitors can buy groceries.
A dual carriageway and double walkway stretch for about 100 metres into the university.
“Plans for the construction of the gate were initiated in 2007 by the previous administration. Every year after that, funds were allocated for its construction, but the project never took off until 2017 when I became the VC,” said Rose Mwonya, the first female VC of the university.
She said that the gate is unique because it has multi-functional features that will benefit the Egerton fraternity.
“This is a complex which includes a mini supermarket for stocking university farm produce. It also has a bookshop and a security system located in one area,” said the VC.
The launch was graced by the principal secretary in the state department for university education at the Ministry of Education, Collete Suda. The PS congratulated the administration for providing ample security at the campus.
She noted that the complex security system was given top priority following a terrorist attack at Garissa University College in 2015.
During the attack, Al-Shabaab militants raided the Northeastern Kenya college and killed 147 people, mainly students, as well as two security guards.
The then Education CS Fred Matiang’i thereafter directed university vice chancellors to take precaution against cases of insecurity and ensure that their institutions were well secured.
Universities then started investing in modern checkpoints to avert any acts of terrorism. In the same year, Kenyatta University launched a Sh20 million modern gate which has a broad dual carriageway.
Early this year, Maasai Mara University also launched their gate which is estimated to have cost nearly Sh16 million.
But university students are challenging their administrators to prioritise learning instead of investing too much money on gates.
“Spending Sh70 million is not the issue. What is of concern is that priority should be given to proper learning,” Juliana Kamau, a student at Egerton University told Campus Vibe.
A student from Maasai Mara University argued that the institution should have budgeted well with the cash to include a fence around the campus.
“We have no fence at the university but we have a magnificent gate. That shows we are still insecure,” Peter Mwaniki said.