EXPOSED: How university hostels have been turned to brothels and dens
Universities hostels have been turned into criminal and prostitution dens as well as radicalisation cells.
The shocking details are contained in a report by the Commission for University Education (CUE) which was present to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last Wednesday.
The report indicate universities have become hideouts and convergence points for criminals especially in hostels.
“There are cases of active radicalisation cells in universities. Students are colluding with each other in hiding crime,” said the report which is now being studied by the government in order for action to be taken.
There is also prostitution in university hostels and increased cases of organised crimes where students are either involved or institutions acting as centres of crime, states the report.
“Ethnic and political alliances where national politicians engage university students during political campaigns; and laxity or little attention being given to security concerns in universities and constituent colleges are rife,” reads the report.
The terror attack of Garissa University on April 2, 2015 where 148 people and at least 79 others were injured (mainly students), revealed lack of capacity for universities in Kenya to mitigate against the emerging threats and risks to safety and security.
To address the security concerns, the government through the Ministry of Education released a directive in April 2016 that required all universities and constituent colleges to implement biometric identification systems and automate students’ records.
Further, a Universities Security Committee (USC) comprising 11 Vice Chancellors and representatives from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and National Intelligence Service was mandated to draft national minimum standards and guidelines on safety and security in universities, to be ratified and used to audit universities on security.
A status report on implementation of biometric identification systems and automation of students’ records obtained from 56 universities and university colleges indicate by July 2016, majority of universities had initiated the process of implementing the requirements on security.
However, many indicated the process was hampered by the budgetary constraints.
CUE has since committed to fast track the development of universities minimum standards and guidelines on safety and security to operationalise the amended Universities Act and Universities Regulations.
The report says the standards and guidelines will thereafter be used to audit the security status of all universities and ensure accredited ones meet minimum standards and guidelines including those on safety and security.
It will also liaise with universities to provide data on student discipline to facilitate maintenance of an updated centralised student disciplinary profile database domiciled at CUE, which will act as a “Disciplinary Reference Bureau” for universities and constituent colleges.