By Dikembe Disembe
Yesterday, I raised with comrade Babu Owino the need to play a much bigger politics in students activism. His organizational skills and ‘connections’ are needed at a much higher level.
The challenge to us, university students in this age in Kenya, is to reorient certain recurrent themes in students unionism. One such discourse is the Jubilee government’s pledge to provide class one pupils with laptops.
Let me be clear, because I know its often not given that comrades who see Jubilee as ‘theirs’ do argue constructively, especially whenever criticism is levelled against it. The laptops programme is a good initiative.
My feeling, however, is that university students need these gadgets more than std.1 pupils.
With the mushrooming of public universities everywhere, and the poor infrastructural development-lack of fully stocked libraries, overflowing lecture-halls, bloated admissions-all these challenges need a new thinking to solve. I believe student leaders can and must reshape the technological underpinnings. It is a discourse we cannot afford to lose.
How about if we urge President Kenyatta and his education secretary, Prof Kaimenyi to provide laptops, if truly its an achievable pledge, to each university student joining year one as a freshman/woman?
This is where Comrade Babu Owino comes in. Having been a student leader under Kaimenyi, he stands to contribute more to reshaping the demands of a more humane, productive, and techno-savvy undergraduate studying systems.
Unfortunately, Prof. Kaimenyi seems to have borrowed the Jubilee manifesto without much ado. Student leaders, and all students need to be proactive to regain our voices amid the loud chatter on this laptop debate.