In Summary
  • The USC will recruit lecturers from a central point using the same criteria. This will weed out the unwanted lecturers.
  • The report proposes that a campaign be mounted to sensitise Kenyans with qualifications overseas to return home.

gStaff of all public universities will in future belong to one employer if radical proposals by chancellors meant to address the rot in the institutions are accepted.

All the 33 chancellors of public universities and colleges have recommended the formation of a University Service Commission (USC) that will be in charge of recruiting, promoting, distributing and disciplining of lecturers.

In a report likely to be discussed at the first-ever Chancellors Convention on Wednesday, the officials argue that the commission will help deal with incompetent lecturers, those who miss classes and also ethnic balancing among other problems that affect the public-owned institutions.

“This will assist in restoring universities as national institutions rather than regional ones,” the report says of the organisations that are run under the Universities Act.

If formed, the commission will act in much the same way as the Teachers’ Service Commission - which is in charge of recruiting, promoting, transferring and disciplining staff.

The USC will recruit lecturers from a central point using the same criteria. This will weed out the unwanted lecturers.

The chancellors say the quality of lecturers in Kenya today is “wanting” as there are “many people with dubious qualifications teaching in public universities owing to nepotism and other vices”.

According to the Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Challenges in Capacity Building at Public Universities, a professor or senior lecturer recruited by the commission shall be recognised throughout Kenyan universities.

Lecturers can, therefore, work in any part of the country as per demand and call.

This is key to de-ethnicising universities and to promote national cohesion.

QUALITY OF STAFF
A database of all the qualified lecturers in the country at all levels shall be generated by USC.

“Only lecturers with certificate of registration shall be allowed to practise,” the report says.

The commission will also be in charge of disciplining lecturers who don’t attend classes and “cook” marks, and non-performing ones to restore professionalism.

The report proposes that a campaign be mounted to sensitise Kenyans with qualifications overseas to return home.

The report recommends that policies in various universities that cut across should be harmonised and made to be universally applicable to all universities.

These include staff promotion criteria, terms of service for senior academic and administrative staff, parallel programme funds distribution policy among others.

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