Turn HELB to a grant-KUSO tells the government

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KUSO has urged the government to turn HELB into a grant and improve security in universities
KUSO has urged the government to turn HELB into a grant and improve security in universities

Kenya University Students Organization (KUSO) has called for security in learning institutions to be tightened. Speaking while presenting its recommendations to the steering committee on the implementation of the BBI report chaired by Prof. Adams Oloo and Busia Senator Amos Wako, the KUSO leaders want all universities in the country to be attached to a police post citing recent instances in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural Technology, JKUAT, where students were attacked by unknown people.

Nimo Sheikh, the organization’s chair and a student at Multimedia University of Kenya complained of police harassment and brutality when dispersing demonstrating students. “Sometimes it’s the police who riot. For example, last year at MMU we wanted to address the media concerning our grievances, we had notified the police about our peaceful demo. On matching out of school we met police at the gate and they started lobbying teargas canisters at us. Whatever they did to us is unexplainable,” said the emotional Sheikh.

KUSO also wants HELB loan to be increased as the money allocated helps students from humble backgrounds to meet their daily needs in campus. However, the students want the loan to become a grant claiming that a good number of students after graduating end up being unemployed and therefore lack means to pay back the loan. They further proposed that after graduating, students should be given a grace period of at least a year before they start paying back the HELB loan.

In curbing high unemployment rates among graduates, KUSO has recommended that the government should be giving first priority to youths, especially graduates when recruiting civil servants.

Written by Sharon Atsianji