Over 90,000 students enrolled in private colleges around the country before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the country have been left stranded after their institutions closed indefinitely.
A report by Citizen TV on Sunday, August 16, indicated that over 300 private colleges shut down following financial challenges occassioned by the pandemic.
Most of the institutions were forced to shut down after the business environment became unbearable with landlords expecting full payment of monthly rent despite the colleges’ revenue streams running dry.
On August 3, the Kenya National Association of Private Colleges (KNAPC) wrote to the Ministry of Education asking for a bail out plan noting that the institutions had admitted over 260,000 students.
“It is unfortunate that the previous day we needed data for the Presidential Delivery Unit, only 410 institutions responded.
“So we have 300 institutions that ave folded up because they cannot be able to meet costs,” stated Ekra.
She further explained that it was hard to implement virtual learning for the institutions as most of the courses offered required hands-on engagement.
“When we look at the medical students, these are people who are missing a lifetime chance to work during a pandemic.
“We have institutions like the private TVETs that are teaching tailoring. This students need to do practical work. How do you do this during a pandemic?” she wondered.
In their appeal, colleges pleaded with the government to allow them to commence with phased reopening from September rather than January 2021.
The association also urged the state to offer affordable e-learning as well as Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) andKenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB) exams.
This came roughly two weeks after the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) announced an imminent closure of 124 private schools asking learners to look for alternatives.
KPSA Chairman Peter Ndoro warned that the situation could get worse and the effects could trickle down to public schools.