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Varisties have turned into secret drug dens, warns Matiang’i

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has sounded an alarm over increasing cases of drug abuse in institutions of higher learning.

He says some of the institutions have become drug markets and conduits, compromising the security of the learners.

According to the CS, proper learning environment is a critical component in ensuring quality education standards.

He cited an example of Maseno University where the students are engaging in fights within the halls of residence, terming it unacceptable.

SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS

“I am on the verge of demanding investigations over the sorry state of affairs at the Maseno University. The Ministry has been receiving complaints about the congested hall of residence and fights among students,” the CS said in Naivasha on Monday while addressing newly constituted university councils.

He challenged university councils and senates to come up with agreeable guidelines that will ensure discipline is maintained in learning institutions.

He, however, said such decisions should be made in consultation with student leaders to minimise cases of mistrust.

In April last year, former National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug abuse (Nacada) chairman John Mututho called for the investigation of University of Nairobi students leaders over alleged drug abuse and sale.

He claimed sale of drugs was rife at the university following student unrest cases.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

At the same time, the Education CS urged universities to develop internal conflict resolution mechanisms instead of running to court to resolve matters.

“I call upon university councils and senates to establish a cordial working relationship and shun conflicts that disrupt learning activities,” he advised.

He caused laughter when he claimed that some universities had become employment bureaus.

“I expect every university councils to not only have clear employment and labour policies, but also to critically assess their manpower requirements to ensure institutions of higher learning recruit and maintain only the staff they need,” he noted.