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Dear Beloved , Please, pardon my means of contacting you. I am Mrs.Benice Mathews now undergoing medical treatment in Cecilia Makiwane Hos...


Are parallel degree students favored?

For some it’s a lifeline, it literally saved them lots of money they would have used for studying abroad. For others, they have been able to get promotions thanks to the parallel degree program they were able to enroll in either as undergraduate or mature students. Yet for others, the parallel degree program is responsible for the declining standards of university education in the country. The parallel degree, or the self sponsored programs, draws mixed reactions depending on whom you talk to.

Before the programs were introduced, the rules were clear
and simple. Do your KCSE, get the best grades, and if you are lucky, get admitted to the regular program in public universities. Otherwise, for those with money, they could have opted to study in private universities or chose to go abroad fro studies altogether. So, it was a great relief to many when the University of Nairobi admitted the first set of Bachelor of Commerce Parallel degree students in 1998. At the time, the tensions were high between the regular students and the parallel students. Truth be told, the tensions haven’t completely died down, as there is some kind of buffer zone between the regular and the parallel students.

The best and highest paying careers: Do students really know what they want to study?

How much will I earn? What is the starting salary?
What will others think of me? How prestigious is the profession? These are just some of the questions that many students ask as they sit down to select a course to study and pursue later on in life. It is often an understated fact that students rarely know what they want to study. Ask any group of teenagers and the list of careers that they want to pursue are likely to be the same. Studying medicine, engineering and law is seen as the apex of the intellectual and academic journey. Of course, this trend is slowly changing, as other role models such as musicians, radio presenters, TV and news anchors enter the picture.


Agony of being a regular student.

It is 9AM on a Thursday morning.
It’s a packed lecture hall at the University of Nairobi. It’s one of those common unit lectures like communication skills where there are like a thousand students in a hall. The noise is deafening to say the least, as the students wander off into discussions on the latest political developments in the country, who is dating who in campus, and which student has an affair with a lecturer. Such a conversation wouldn’t have happened if today’s lecturer was on schedule. He hasn’t arrived yet and it’s one hour into the lesson, another student tells me. It’s a three hour lesson, so, we’ll wait for him for another thirty minutes and if he doesn’t show up, then we’ll have to call it a day and go back to our rooms. Sure, they wait for another thirty minutes, and then one by one, they start walking out. So, I ask one of the students, “Is this the way it has always been? I ask as we move along the corridors of the university. A student further behind interjects. Yes, it’s always like this. She tells me. We are regular students, and the lecturers are not bothered by our plight. They prefer to teach the parallel students, where they are assured of making much more money. Look even at the exams we do, she continues, they are way harder than the exams parallel degree students sit for.  Every semester, our worst nightmare is being called for resits and supplementary exams. The parallel students don’t have those kinds of worries. How can they when the universities know only too well that they are the cash cow. Look, when we strike, their studies go on uninterrupted, while ours comes to a stop all of a sudden. We believe we are punished for our success in high school, and it’s just not fair, she implodes.

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Why we should not ignore the Arts.

By now, the dust on KCPE results ahs settled. Watching the top students career
aspirations, it is easy to tell that a majority of the brightest young stars want to pursue careers in the sciences. Medicine, engineering and law rank high among the future career aspirations of the KCPE stars. Of the many KCPE stars interviewed by the many, I noticed one only that was interested in a career in the arts, in archaeology to be specific.
Why is it that all the best students are made to feel as if a career in the arts is not something worth pursuing. Does it mean that an A student can really not pursue a course, say , in Sociology. Not too long ago, a former