By Patrick Chiriba

The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) has criticized Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu for his comments regarding universities’ funding.

In a news conference, representatives from UASU described the announcement as reckless.

Constantine Wasonga, UASU Secretary General said if the government ceases subsidizing public colleges, it will give them the freedom to impose whatever fees they see fit, which could disenfranchise students from low-income backgrounds.

“If public universities are given free will to charge fees at a market rate this will be very expensive. This means university education will only be accessed by the rich and we will not allow that,” Wasonga said.

Wasonga also bemoaned the fact that public universities are suffering from a severe underfunding situation as a result of insufficient capitation, which makes managing university affairs next to impossible.

UASU organizational secretary, Onesmus Mutio, released a statement criticizing the Education CS, urging him to settle down and comprehend the severe financial crisis that higher learning institutions are currently experiencing.

“Most universities are struggling to pay salaries with some paying up to 58% only without statutory deductions,” said Mutio.

CS Machogu announced a week ago that the government will no longer subsidize educational institutions like universities and colleges.

The CS’s declaration comes as major institutions around the nation are experiencing strikes over a shortage of funding.