Kenya develops Student Standard Cards

By Metro Reporter
Kenya has finalised all the necessary arrangements for its students willing to study in any of the four East African countries.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof Jacob Kaimenyi revealed in Kajiado recently that Kenya has developed Student Standard Cards which will be used as travel and identity documents that will enable them to enroll in each of the four East African states’ schools and colleges.
 Prof Kaimenyi said Kenyan students willing to study in any of the countries will live as nationals of those States and even pay their fees using local currencies. Prior to this arrangement, foreign students in all the East African States paid their fees in US dollars.
“Our students will pay the exact fees charged for the locals and this is an opportunity for them to choose where they want to learn,” said Prof Kaimenyi during this year’s Kajiado Education Day which he presided over in Isinya town.
The minister told the more than 200 Head teachers from local secondary and primary schools that he was aware of the many challenges faced by schools in terms of shortage of teachers and vehicles for mobility of education officers.
“It is a major problem and the government is doing everything possible to bridge the gap. What we are saying is that try to produce the best with what we have as we seek ways to correct the situation,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
In attendance were local elected leaders including Governor David Nkedianye, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, local members of the County Executive, MCAs and Provincial Administration officials.
On the travel of students in the region, the minister said the countries in the new arrangement, other than Kenya, are Uganda, Tanzania and Uganda.
 This follows the introduction of the new system where East African citizens will be using national IDs and voter’s cards as travel documents.
Under the new arrangement, Kenyans and Rwandans will be using national IDs while Ugandans will use voter’s cards as travel documents when entering or leaving any of the three countries.
 Rwandan students, who are within the EAC, will also be allowed to use their student cards as travel documents. The system became operational early in the year.
Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya adopted the use of IDs as travel documents across their borders at an experts meeting in Kigali on December 17, last year.
All the three members of the Coalition of the Willing have announced their readiness to implement the use of national and student IDs for Kenya and Rwanda and voters’ cards or students IDs for Uganda.
In the East African Community, only Rwanda and Kenya issue national identity cards. Uganda and Tanzania are in the process of issuing their national identity cards as an EAC requirement.
The three countries have agreed to use machine-readable and electronic national identity cards as travel documents for their nationals who wish to travel across the three countries.
According to the arrangement heads of Immigration Departments from the three States, were expected to issue a circular to points of entry on January 1, 2014.
An EAC expert report in our possession that was released early in the year reads: “A traveler shall show the national identity, voter’s or student identity cards to both Immigration officers and receive the coupon from the Immigration Officer of the entry country, which allows him or her to proceed with her/his travel. An entry stamp of six months shall be endorsed on the coupon.”
In case the coupon is lost while in the country, the traveler will be required to present him/herself to the nearest Immigration Office for issuance of another coupon, adds the report.