In Summary
  • Most students support better employment terms for lecturers and blame university administrators for not accommodating the dons’ demands.
  • Prof Lukoye Atwoli quit as the School of Medicine dean, saying the administration had failed to address the frequent strikes.

When they joined Moi University in Eldoret in 2012 to study medicine, they hoped that after six years they would graduate as doctors, ready to serve their country.

But seven years later, their dreams remain unfulfilled.

A Bachelor of Medicine degree takes six years at other Kenyan universities, but at Moi the duration is now unpredictable.

The current group of students in their final year at the School of Medicine have spent an extra year due to a number of strikes during their course.

They should have graduated last year, but the forced breaks pushed their learning to this year.

But even as the year draws to a close, they are not sure they will graduate in December as scheduled.

A strike over unpaid clinical allowances dating back to 2017 called by their lecturers in June, which continued until early September, is once again threatening to thwart their graduation plans.

DEPRESSED

That strike followed another last year that lasted months, before a temporary solution was found. It was also about unpaid allowances.

At least five strikes have been witnessed at the university in the past five years, with two long ones in 2017.

The strikes have become so common that the last one ended after two months, thanks to a court’s intervention.

But the lecturers promised one soon if their grievances were not addressed. Students who spoke to the Nation lamented that the strikes were taking a serious toll on them.

Most of them support better employment terms for lecturers and blame university administrators for not accommodating the dons’ demands.

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