Mount Kenya University has slashed school fees by 30% in a bid to cushion parents and guardians from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
MKU Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Dr. Evans Mwiti said it would be unfair for the University to charge full fees yet students have not been attending face to face classes.
He said most parents have suffered due to the effects of the pandemic and would be hard pressed to raise fees.
Mwiti said the University in partnership with Telkom and Safaricom introduced online teaching in their May/August Semester to ensure that students complete their studies on time.
He said staff and student will get subsidized bundles to enable them access online learning information and materials.
Dr. Mwiti however said that students who will be unable to access online services will be accorded an opportunity to complete their studies once learning resumes.
The University board of directors Chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu has already established a six member team to implement online learning classes.
The team spearheaded by School of Education Dean Benson Njoroge will also explore the possibility of conducting online examination.
Meanwhile the University has extended the contracts of staff and lecturers that had lapsed or were due for expiry until the institution re-opens.
The Government in March ordered schools and universities to close as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.
Mount Kenya University reckons that the closure derailed contracts talks and in the process blocking the release of salaries of those whose employment terms had expired.
“Covid-19 has affected normal operations where internal processes are followed to validate the renewals and there is a standing policy that inhibits the directorate of finance from processing salaries for the affected staff whose contracts have expired.” Said a memo signed by MKU chairman and Founder Prof. Simon Gicharu.
“We direct the council to extend all contracts for all staff in and outside Kenya month by month until the university re-opens to enable the affected staff to renegotiate their contracts in the normal manner.” He said.
The pay directive will benefit affected workers at MKU’s eight campuses in Kenya, four open learning centres in Kisii, Kakamega, Kitale and Meru, MKU Rwanda, country offices in Uganda, Somalialand, Puntland, Burundi and Uganda.
In March, MKU and Japan-based Osaka City University jointly won a Ksh 450 million grant from Japan International Cooperation Agency for malaria research.
The funds will be deployed for research on malaria prevalence in Homa Bay.