KNA Baringo Technical College students on Monday went on rampage alleging deplorable learning and sanitation conditions at the institution among other problems.
The students who trekked over 5 kilometers to Governor Stanley Kiptis’s office complained that sudden increase in enrolment had exerted immense pressure on existing physical infrastructure like classrooms and accommodation facilities forcing some of them to be accommodated far away from the college.
The students who carried twigs as they chanted slogans along Kabarnet town streets before camping outside the governor’s office expressed displeasure in the manner the management was handling education matters arguing that due to the high student population with no corresponding physical learning facilities, classes are conducted under trees.
Their president Mr Kenneth Bii while presenting grievances before deputy governor Jacob Chepkwony said that the institution whose population has risen from 1,200 in the past two years to more than 3,000 currently is grappling with inadequate structures.
Mr Bii stated that students were forced to study in dilapidated structures such as makeshift iron sheet classrooms adding frequent water shortages also made their lives unbearable. “We as comrades are not going to sit in an environment which is not conducive for learning,” he said.
A student, Mariam Wairimu noted that due limited accommodation, all female students have been moved out and housed at former Warwa academy and Rehabilitation Centre in Kabarnet town to salvage the situation, a move she stated, inconvenienced them in terms of time management.
“We are taking supper very early to leave for our hostels which are far away. The school administration has also not secured enough water for us to bathe and wash our clothes,” she lamented.
Wairimu added that female students residing outside the institution are subjected to sexual harassment especially from boda boda operators during their movement from their respective hostels to town centre to buy necessities.
Another student leader David Lemura pointed out that students at the technical college were living in pathetic conditions right from residential to classrooms. “Our classes are inadequate forcing some students to have their lessons under trees,” said Lemura.
He pointed out that besides the institution not providing enough benches for those who want to study, they are faced with a serious challenge of raw waste as the only sewerage tank situated within the compound had burst thus emitting foul smell.
He also blamed the school management of laxity in not utilizing available resources in form of bursaries and fees to improve on the infrastructural facilities.
Kabarnet MCA Earnest Kibet who listened keenly as the students aired their grievances said that it was sad for parents to pay fees only for their children to take lessons under trees.
He urged the institution’s management to team up with local leaders and stakeholders and find a lasting solution to the problems experienced at the institute for the sake of the students.
Baringo Central Sub County director of education George Ngao promised the students that their grievances would be addressed in due course.
Mr Ngao noted that the concerned stakeholders will do what it takes to ensure smooth running of the institution which is among the leading technical colleges in the county.