2015 and 2016 has recorded a surprisingly large number of deaths of Kenyan University Students.
147 students were massacred in little known Garissa University in April 2015 by suspected Al Shabaab terrorists.5 Kenyatta University also perished in a grisly road carnage along Kisii- Kilgoris Road on 1st July 2016.Their friend, Duncan Nyanaro, a Civil Engineering Student from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology also perished in the same incident.
On 22nd March 2016.a Fourth Year Moi University Student was stabbed to death in fight over lover. On 30th November 2015.scores of students were injured in what was meant to be ‘a terror drill’ in Strathmore University, that left one staffer dead.25 year old Kevin Ikatwa was stabbed to death by his 19 year old University Of Nairobi girlfriend on March 16th 2016.Sarafine Wanjiru Njoroge, a Dedan Kimathi University Of Technology Student succumbed to a health condition associated with high altitude while on Mt Kenya Expedition on March 17,2016.
On 13th September 2015,a 23 year old Kimathi University Student was stabbed to death over a bottle of beer by his friend. On 16th September 2016,a Dedan Kimathi University Student slipped off and fell into the river during a nature walk alongside his colleagues. His body was retrieved after he had drowned.He succumbed to injuries hours later. On 11th August 2016,a JKUAT Student was shot dead while leaving school. On 1st March 2016,a drunk driver caused the death of 2 JKUAT Students. On 8th March 2016,a JKUAT Student passed on under the hands of medics due to what was alleged to be poisoning.
On 13th April 2015,Francis Maina, died and 138 UON students injured during an explosion stampede. On 27th May 2015 a second year UON student fell from the hostel roofs and died. On 13th July 2015 it was noted that 7 students in UON had died in separate incidents within a curiously short time. On 19th April 2015 another student passed on in a grisly road accident.
There are just some cases. The number of deaths and injuries resulting from various incidences is alarming.
This begs the question: Are Kenyan Universities safe anymore? Remember I have not looked into cases associated with tertiary colleges and national polytechnics and other institutions of higher learning.
Administrations of Universities and Colleges need to invest in the safety, health and general wellbeing of their learners. At this rate, the losses could skyrocket to uncontrollable levels if something is not done.
Students need to be trained on how to be cautious of their health and safety either within or without the precincts of their institutions. It is important that all learners stay safe. It is heart wrenching for any parent who pegs his hopes on their child by sending them to university only for them to come back in a coffin months later over a circumstance that could have been controlled in the right time.
Guidance and Counselling Departments, The Security Departments, The Offices Of The Dean Of Students and The Health Departments need to collaborate and come up with a plan to reduce this losses of students. We are losing students who had a bright future due to negligence of the values that keep a society moving in the right direction.
When students join institutions of higher learning there should be regular workshops, seminars and conferences organize to enlighten the students on issues of safety, personal security and general health. This will partly enable them to keep on the neutral side of chaotic situations which will eventually absolve the administrations from having to handle calamitous outcomes that becomes tough for them to explain. Students should avoid potentially hazardous scenes. They should always go for regular check ups and mostly important observe traffic rules.
Individual responsibility is very key. Collective responsibility also ought to be factored in.Students must always be wary of the whereabouts of their fellow students. We should enhance the safety of our students. The Ministry Of Higher Education needs to take note of this.