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TUM students protest new directive on fee balances

Wednesday September 18 2019

TUM students protest

Police officers clear the road at Buxton after students of the Technical University of Mombasa disrupted traffic flow during a protest on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANTHONY KITIMO
By ANTHONY KITIMO
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Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) students on Wednesday held protests in Mombasa town, accusing the administration of high-handedness.

They burnt tyres and barricaded Mombasa-Malindi highway in Buxton before they were repulsed by the police.

Tens of them were arrested but later released after the administration intervened and called a crisis meeting to resolve the matter.

TUM students protest

Police take charge of Mombasa-Malindi highway at Buxton after students of the Technical University of Mombasa disrupted traffic flow during a protest on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

TOUGH RULES

George Onyango, one of the students, claimed the institution had been blocking students with fee balances from progressing with their studies.

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Mr Onyango said new education policies being implemented by the management had demoralised the students and that they were not involved in their drafting.

"We are barred from progressing to the next year until we sit a supplementary exam. This has never happened in any institution, That is why we are opposing the directive," he said.

TUM students protest

The students of the Technical University of Mombasa who were arrested and taken to Makupa Police Station following a riot on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

CONFIRMED UNREST

Vice Chancellor Leila Abubakar said the situation had been contained and they hoped to resolve the learners' grievances in the next few days.

"Lack of communication between the administration and students resulted in the protest but we have addressed the matter through departmental heads," she said.

Prof Abubakar said the new education policy was meant to end graduation hitches reported in the past.

"The directive to ensure no student advances to the next semester unless he/she sits a supplementary exam was agreed on after we met student leaders and departmental heads to avoid cases of missing marks during graduation. The move is for the benefit of the students," the VC said.

She added, "During the protest, first-year students who were fronted by the continuing students were arrested so we had to intervene for them to be released as they are barely two weeks old in the institution. They were used by their colleagues."