By Belinda Nabwire Addikahbelindanaddikah@daystar.ac.ke
This morning Daystar University Athi River campus was nearly empty as a majority of the students chose to stay home even after a prior email was sent by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Timothy Wachira, ordering students to resume classes on Wednesday, November 29.
A similar text message was sent to parents. This order came after students had already received word from their student leaders, that the school should not be reopened, as agreed in a meeting with the University Council. Most lecturers were met with empty classrooms.
“I am very disappointed. I came all the way from my village expecting to find students to teach,” lamented Mr. Felix Odhiambo, a lecturer at Athi River Campus.
Students cite reasons such as the failure of their grievances being addressed, fear of confrontation by law enforcement as was the case before the indefinite closure and insecurity due to political tension in some residential areas.
“I feel like there will be more drama at school and another standoff might occur. Students seem fearful of confrontations with law enforcement and reluctant to go to school due to unaddressed issues by the University,” said Ajitsa Khaguli, a student under the school of Communication – Athi River Campus.
“I’m also worried about the safety of the area around my estate. I live around Embakasi Pipeline and there are still confrontations happening due to political tensions. So going to school seems like risks all around,” added Ajitsa.
However, some held a contrary opinion as they saw there was a lot at stake for them if they failed to return to school.
“Because my lecturer has stated that she is going to have her classes I can’t risk it. I can’t just let this semester possibly go to waste especially by being caught in the confusion crossfire that’s going on right now. I just really wish that we would be going back just to do our exams,” said a rather stressed Dorah Mghalu, a Psychology student at Valley Road Campus.
The DUSA Athi River officials chose not to comment on the matter. However, they have been seen interrupting ongoing classes in Athi River Campus stating that there was a miscommunication about the school start date.