A man named Kiarie Ranji who said he studied at the University of Nairobi and is now an educationist based in the city has revealed that he and deputy president William Ruto munched on chicken three times a week while in school.
The man narrated about the wondrous world of the university in the 1990s. According to him, universities now have lost its value unlike in their day when they were the havens for really vibrant brains.
Looking back to the 1990s, Kiarie said a university student was massively admired, revered, and respected by the government and society. The university students lacked no luxuries and were not facing financial issues like now.
For him and his mates including the deputy president William Ruot, chicken were served three times a week and beef was a daily food item on the menu. They were given chapati’s, famously dubbed “dialogue,” two times in one week and their breakfast was nicknamed BEST which translates into Bacon, Eggs, Sausages and Toasts.
Students in his day, he says, never went hungry for any reason whatsoever. Speaking of finances, a university student earned more than a graduate teacher – The then graduate teachers were receiving Sh3,300 as a monthly pay while a university student was receiving Sh3,800 every semester!
On the plus side, students were independent and never really depended on their parents for money. Some from the money they earn even cater for their siblings back home. What’s more admirable was that students battled fearlessly against corruption, dictatorship, injustice, oppression and any form of illegal practices contrary to what is seen now.
They didn’t fail the country in the battle that was fought indiscriminately and sincerely. Tribalism, which is apparently common in the country now, was an unknown phenomenon as all students were ‘comrades.’
Looking 26 years into the past, Kiarie Ranji said universities have changed. Universities keep streaming out students – some of whom cannot be categorized as graduates. Some intelligent ones dump out half way because of finances.
Schools have changed into a money-making business, he said. Students now bribe their ways out and A grade in KSCE has lost its value.
According to him, here is what the future looks like: Access to university education will call for more enormous bribery; the residential campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors won’t get jobs while such jobs fall on the laps of the unqualified one; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Kenyan universities will enroll ten million students and tuition costs will continue to rise at a rate far outpacing inflation, as they have for decades.
And for that reason, yearning for school will be something that will be long forgotten for the new generations.
Kiarie Ranji named other notable people in his class during his school day, saying that apart from Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojamong and Mount Kenya University founder Simon Gicheru were all his classmates who enjoyed chicken three times a week with him.