The fate of thousands of students hangs in the balance after the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) launched a crackdown on tertiary educational institutions operating without accreditation, in a swoop that targets more than 40 colleges in Nairobi County.
The regulatory body kicked off the operation jointly with the police Tuesday in the city centre and shut down three private colleges before proceeding to other parts of the city. Six others were closed in the Pipeline area.
TVETA Director-General Kipkirui Lang'at, who led the operation, said it was aimed at streamlining training in mid-level colleges to ensure that students get value for their time and money.
“It means we shall have disadvantaged these Kenyans if we allow such colleges to operate,” Dr Langat said.
The colleges closed include Intraglobal Training Institute, Vision Stars Training Institute and Kenafric College of Professional Studies, all on Tom Mboya Street. Intraglobal also has campuses in Embu, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kisii and Gilgil.
The three principals of the colleges were also arrested and taken to the Central Police Station.
The other colleges closed are Equimax Modern Training College, Clique College of Hairdressing, Metab College and Bright Touch College.
“I don’t know what will happen to me as I paid the fees just this month,” said a Kenafric College student, who requested not to be named.
Dr Langat urged students to inquire about the registration status of colleges before enrolling. He said colleges found to meet the minimum requirements will be allowed more time to comply.
The audit and closing of non-compliant institutions in Nairobi is expected to be completed tomorrow before the team proceeds to other parts of the country.
Apart from lacking TVETA accreditation, the colleges had no basic facilities and equipment and could not provide the qualifications of their trainers. The wide range of courses they claim to offer is also questionable given their lean staff, scarce facilities and space.
“No training activities should continue within the institutions until all above issues are corrected and approved by TVETA,” the closure notices read.
Kenafric Principal Schola Muthoni acknowledged that the college had been operating without a TVETA licence since 2015.
Last week, 38 students and five members of staff at Alison Community College in Eastleigh, Nairobi, were charged with being in the country illegally. The unlicensed college was also closed over suspicion it may have been involved in terrorism-related activities.