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University students challenge online classes,upcoming exams in court

Eighty Law students from the University of Nairobi(UoN) have moved to Milimani Law Courts to challenge the ongoing online classes and scheduled exams during the Covid-19 pandemic citing inequalities

The students told the court that the online program has no face-to-face consultation with lecturers, has limited access to the library as well as access to physical-based program facilities, and the fee should be reduced.

The students pleaded with the court to bar UoN from conducting the e-learning until all the stakeholders have aired their voices on the matter.

According to the students, the decision to start e-learning was made without considering that some of the students come from remote areas with limited or no access to reliable internet services.

However, the UoN Senate which was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Stephen Kiama Gitahi, approved guidelines and procedures for online exams on May 8.

According to the institution memo, the Senate relied on the provisions of Statutes- XXV that accords the Senate the mandate over all academic matters in the campus.

The University of Nairobi adopted online classes in March 2020 after the government issued Covid-19 prevention directives that closed all learning institutions in the country.

Addressing the University staff and students virtually, the VC acclaimed the success of online teaching and learning at the institution, noting that procedures and guidelines for online examinations had been benchmarked against the world’s best practices

Prof Kiama stated that the online examinations guidelines were developed in consultation with stakeholders including regulatory authorities and professional bodies.

He also maintained that the graduation would be held as scheduled on September 25, 2020.

The Education Ministry’s response to the disruption of learning has been a controversial topic in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education CS George Magoha had advised the President against reopening schools arguing that Covid-19 cases are on the rise and it might be dangerous for learners to resume schooling.

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