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Bunge la Mwananchi to President Ruto: Make education accessible to all

Bunge la Mwananchi, a grassroots movement, is now calling upon President William Ruto to prioritise affordability in the education sector.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, a representative of Bunge la Mwananchi, Awino, underscored the critical importance of affordable education, particularly at the tertiary level. Awino emphasised that education is a fundamental right that should be within reach for every Kenyan citizen.

Expressing deep concern over the escalating fees, especially in university education, Awino remarked, “Education is a basic need and it should be made affordable for all. We have heard complaints from university students about the rising fees. This is very concerning.”

Awino urged the Kenya Kwanza government to expedite efforts to ensure that the education system does not become a financial burden for ordinary citizens. “We want the Kenya Kwanza government to work speedily and ensure that our education system is not a burden to the common mwananchi,” he added with conviction.

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The plea from Bunge la Mwananchi comes in the aftermath of a significant government directive issued in February 2023.

The directive announced a substantial threefold increase in university tuition fees, soaring from the existing Ksh16,000 to Ksh48,000.

This abrupt adjustment followed the removal of subsidies by the Higher Education Loans Board, raising concerns about the financial strain on students pursuing higher education.

In March 2023, the government introduced a new funding model, directing students who qualified for admission to universities and other tertiary institutions to apply for funding through the newly created Higher Education Financing Portal.

This marked a departure from the longstanding tradition of government-sponsored education, which had historically transcended economic backgrounds, ensuring access to higher education for students from all walks of life.

The evolving educational landscape has prompted discussions about the necessity for a comprehensive and inclusive approach to education financing.

Such an approach is crucial to accommodate the diverse economic circumstances of aspiring learners, ensuring that the pursuit of knowledge remains accessible to all citizens.