Nairobi — President William Ruto has clarified that there are no plans to privatize public universities in the country anytime soon.
The President said Wednesday in a speech read on his behalf by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu during the University of Kabianga 10th anniversary celebrations and its endowment fund drive at Kabianga, Kericho County.
The President maintained that his administration will continue to support public universities by enhancing governing policy structures and allocation of HELB loans for students to ensure access to university education.
He expressed the need to re-engineer the Universities in-line with the demands of global trends and create global citizens.
"Our universities must adapt the posture of 21st century and be at the forefront on its vital role in integrating research and innovation in areas of national development. Tertiary institutions should work on the regional integration agenda aimed at transforming the African continent to a global powerhouse, " the President said.
The Head of State pointed out that the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms will provide recommendations that will address the current financial and management challenges facing the public universities.
"The reforms will revitalize our university education in the Country," he said.
During the event CS Machogu thanked the President for timely appointment of a Working Party on Education reforms which immediately addressed the crisis on where to place Junior Secondary School learners.
He said the team on education reforms gave a timely recommendation after engaging Kenyans across the 47 Counties on their views on where to place JSS.
"Domiciling of JSS in Primary Schools is the wish of Kenyans and other key major stakeholders in the education sector which was considered by the Education reforms team," said Machogu.
The CS said already 17.8 million books have been distributed to public JSS across the country and reaffirmed that the capitation monies will be send any time as the data on enrollment of learners has been done per school.
On JSS infrastructure, Machogu said the Ministry of Education through World Bank funding with will construct 40% of integrated labs and 60% to be done by the MPs through allocation of NG-CDF.
He said the National Government is working hand in hand with the Governors to improve the quality of Technical, Vocational and Education Institutions to match the international standards.
At the same time the CS led the University's fund drive raising over Ksh. 7.5 million which will cater for scholarships to the bright but needy students who are continuing and those joining University of Kabianga.
University of Kabianga was first chartered in the year 2013. It has since established modern infrastructure with a student capacity currently at 8,128. The University has maintained the teaching and non-teaching staff at the ratio of 1:2.
Present during the event were Kericho County Governor Erick Mutai, Principal Secretary for Higher Education and Research, Beatrice Inyangala, University of Kabianga Vice Chancellor, Wilson Ngeno, University Council among Government officials.