The Predicament of DeKUT Students in Online Learning

DeKUT administration is keen to start online classes. In this regard, the school has released official communication in form of memos from the registrar through the school’s official website. As things stand, a student is required to register for classes by 5th June. To register, the student is supposed to pay 30% of the reduced fee. The normal fee required is usually around sh. 18,000 but the school has dropped it to around sh. 14, 000. This means that to register, a student should pay about sh. 4,200 before the deadline.

Upon registration, students expect that the school will honor its promise and provide each student with 10 GB data per month as per one of the memos from the registrar.

However, some departments have already started learning online despite the fact that no one has been provided with bundles. This shouldn’t be the case. The school should provide enough time for students to pay the 30% and for all registered students to be provided with bundles.

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There have been incidences where students are not able to access the online classes due to technical problems. However, attendance is being recorded. Obviously, the comrades who were waiting for bundles from the school to access the online lessons will suffer. They’ll have to either miss the lessons yet attendance is being recorded or cater for their bundles.

Why is online learning happening before the school has provided bundles?
Who is to blame for the resulting suffering, especially considering the fact that one video lesson can consume up to 500MB and that there are students with more than one classes a day?

From the onset, the majority of students have been against online classes. DeKUTSO have faced a hard time trying to ensure that online lessons do not leave anyone out. In the beginning, the school didn’t even intend to provide bundles. Thanks to the council, that plan is underway and students don’t have to pay the whole school fee for them to start learning.

That seems like a reasonable compromise: Parents are given time to get sh. 4000 for school fees and students are given 10 GB a month for lessons. There is only one problem: Online classes have already started and from what we gather, some class reps and students themselves are to blame.
DeKUTSO, as representatives of students, gave clear instructions to class reps that they should not facilitate any learning as long as students’ problems have not been addressed. So right now, before bundles are provided, class reps should not be spreading links to classes. They should be able to explain to the lecturers that students are not able to access the lessons at this time.

However, a number of class reps don’t seem to care for their classmates, as expressed in this audio by a comrade.

This comrade could not have expressed the state of things on the ground better

If we continue this way and the university fails to provide bundles, then students will be helpless to do anything. It is a pity that class reps are the ones sabotaging the welfare of the students they are supposed to represent.
It has also come to our attention that in some cases, when class reps refuse to give in to lecturers’ demands, the lecturers are working with other students to replace the reps. It is shameful to see that students are their own enemies.

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What hope is there for students if some of our class reps go against the student council directives and students go against the class reps? Doing so is making the council and the class reps powerless in bargaining for students.
That lack of unity is the reason why DeKUT students will always struggle to have their problems solved. We are very good at making noise on WhatsApp. About two weeks ago, students were very vocal in condemning online classes and declaring how unacceptable they are. Today, those students can’t wait for their representatives to iron out the issues with the administration. Those students are working to undermine their class reps.

Surprisingly, the attendance of some of those classes is extremely high. There is a class that was attended by 117 out of 120 students. There are also other classes with perfect attendance. Are these the same students who were raising all manner of objections against online learning some two weeks ago?

Anyway, I’ll conclude with this question: Once you strip your student council and class reps off their power and the university decides not to honor their promise of providing bundles, who will you cry to as you buy 500 MBs per lesson for the whole semester?

For our own good, we should learn to be united.

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Author Silicon

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