The over 600 former Garissa University College students who were absorbed at the Moi University main campus in Eldoret will be allowed to choose any of the university’s campuses in various parts of the country to continue with their learning programmes after they complete this academic year.
The students, who joined the university last month following the April 2 deadly terror attack at the institution, which resulted in the loss of 148 lives, majority of who were students, are scheduled to sit for their exams this month.
Moi University vice chancellor Prof Richard Mibey says once the students are done with their exams, they will be fully integrated in the university system and thereafter given an option to either continue with their studies at the main campus or relocate to campuses near their homes.
“Those who have parents and relatives in Nairobi or other towns and feel they want to continue with the studies there will have the opportunity to join our campuses there so that they can proceed with their academic programmes,” Pro Mibey assured the students.
The VC pointed out that the students, who are willing to join other campuses of their choice after completing their semesters, will graduate with degrees from the main campus.The affected students were in their First, Second and Third years and had just six weeks remaining to complete their semesters prior to the attack.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Prof Jacob Kaimenyi immediately ordered for the closure of the ill-fated Garissa university college.However, the government is yet to state the fate of the college, which has since been deserted by the students, teaching and non-teaching staff members following the bloody massacre.
The affiliated campuses of the Moi University are located in Nairobi, Alupe (Bungoma), Kericho, Yala (Nyanza region), Kitale (TransNzoia), Mombasa and Kisumu.
The VC was speaking at Rivatex East Africa Limited compound of Moi University’s School of Aviation in Eldoret where some 300 students were awarded scholarship by the Germany Academic Exchange Service (Daad) financed by Germany’s Development ministry.
“The beneficiaries are from needy families,” he said. Lars Wilke, head of cooperation at the Germany embassy and who represented ambassador Andreas Peschke said the scholarship will run for one year but will not be extended. He said the scholarship includes Sh50,000 tuition and accommodation fees to be paid directly to Moi University.
“A stipend of Sh120,000 (or Sh10, 000 per month) will be given to each beneficiary in three installments paid to their bank accounts,” said Wilke, to the applause of the students. He encouraged the students to hold tight to their future academic career and personal development dreams and not to be distracted by what happened at their former college.
“It is part of our commitment to show our solidarity with Kenyan students and Kenya people. This engagement is a clear sign that terrorisms cannot stop students and institutions of higher education to carry out their important work towards a more prosperous and peaceful country,” he stated.
Anne Musyoka, one of the survivors and a First Year student pursuing a BA Degree in Education said the scholarship will enable her concentrate on her studies as she is from a disadvantaged family background.
“I am happy to be at the main campus and I feel at home since I reported last month. The learning atmosphere is stress-free and we have been taken through counselling sessions, which has helped us to cope with trauma that we went through after the terror attack,” she said.
Vincent Mwangi, a First Year student in Computer studies said that it was by the grace of God that he survived the terror attack, which claimed majority of his colleagues.
“I have no intention of relocating to any other Moi campus as I am comfortable. We feel secure in a good learning environment unlike in our former college where the situation was uncertain despite assurances from the authorities,” he said.