This is my account of how the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) assigned me a course that I had no interest in studying and took another Sh1,000 from me when I tried to change it.
I sat my national Kenya Certificate Of Secondary School Education (KCSE) last year and was shocked to find out that I was placed to study fashion and design at Musakasa Technical Training Institute. I have never had any interest in fashion.
I applied to be transferred to the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) to study a diploma in business administration.
KUCCPS asked me to pay Sh1,000 for the transfer. Living in the village, it was very difficult for me to raise the money but I managed. I was extremely disappointed when the transfer application was unsuccessful. More painful was the fact that KUCCPS refused to refund the money.
I did not want to be chained to a career that I had no passion for, so I was forced to join the KCA University as a self-sponsored student pursuing a course in journalism and digital media.
This whole experience made me conclude that KUCCPS does not exercise fairness. They are also conducting business with our academic futures during the transfers. There are many learners from humble backgrounds who cannot raise the money needed for the transfers.
Others are also unable to easily access information at the required time, which may be due to the fact that, after their KCSE examinations, they are not able to take part in the placement.
This denies them a chance to pursue their courses choice in their preferred institutions of higher learning.
The agency should make an effort to reach out to those students who have qualified, to at least give them a choice of what to study instead of rushing to place them in universities and courses that they had no interest in.
Whenever learners hear that there is a window of opportunity to change their courses, their hopes are raised.
Like me, they work, beg and deny themselves the basics to raise the Sh1,000 so that they are able to study what they are passionate about.
You can imagine the heartbreak when the money is gone together with their hopes, and they are forced to spend the next three or four years of their life in school reading books and attending classes for a course they have no desire to be in.
The transfer money should also be taken only after the transfer is successful.
The author, 20, is a first year student at KCA University.