Reports that unaccredited private colleges are awarding certificates to unwitting students are distressing, though not surprising.
The colleges, which probably do not meet the conditions set out in the law to operate, receive money from students and brazenly disregard the regulations and give them fake certificates, which no one will recognise.
According to the Kenya National Qualifications Authority, the agency charged with quality assurance of academic credentials, the colleges are violating the law and their owners risk prosecution.
While it is prudent of the KNQA to raise the alarm, the warning is coming too late in the day. Action should have been taken a long time ago.
Besides, the authority ought to name the offending colleges and have them shut down immediately.
The authorities must go further and investigate how the colleges were allowed to operate in the first place, how many students have been awarded the dud certificates and what recourse is open to them.
Recently, the Commission for University Education (CUE) called out universities offering degree programmes that it had not approved. We expect actions on that front.
Clearly, the agencies that oversee higher education are raising serious doubts about their capability to effectively supervise institutions placed under them.
Universities and colleges are cashing in on the huge demand for higher education to cut corners and reap millions of shillings with impunity from hapless parents.
The culprits always end up with a mere slap on the wrist and soon they are back to their nefarious schemes.
The authorities must put their foot down and inflict severe penalties on institutions that break the rules on quality. The country’s education standards must be guarded with zeal and a single-minded focus for the sake of the future generations.