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Kenia: Suspension letter exposes rot in local universities

Kenia / 16 de noviembre de 2016 / Por: OUMA WANZALA / Fuente: http://www.nation.co.ke/

An interdiction letter to a deputy vice-chancellor of a public university has exposed the rot in Kenya’s university education, putting to question the role of the Commission for University Education (CUE) which regulates the sector.

The letter by University Council chairman John Okumu to Prof Misia Kadenyi, who is in charge of academic, research and students affairs at Maasai Mara University, exposes how students’ names were sneaked into the graduation list without prior approval of the Senate.

Prof Kadenyi was sent packing on October 31 following the university council’s meeting that raised concerns on her repeated challenges in the academic, research and students affairs division.

The letter reveals that in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the graduation lists were tampered with and had various anomalies, while in 2014, 107 students did not graduate because their details were not in the university system.

In 2015, the graduation list was delayed as a result of some students’ names being sneaked into the list without prior approval of the Senate.

“The university has witnessed repeated errors in printing of graduands certificates, particularly in the years 2013 and 2014, disadvantaging concerned students in getting jobs. Further additional expenses had to be incurred by the university in reprinting such certificates,” states the letter.

Prof Kadenyi has since been given 21 days to respond to the allegations from the date of the letter. While on interdiction, she will be on half salary, full house allowance and medical benefits.

The letter also reveals that the university senate has never approved the curricula offered at the university college and university from 2009 to 2016.

“The division failed in ensuring that the programmes were duly approved and in line with the university charter. Some collaborating colleges even offered programmes not approved by Maasai Mara University,” states the letter.

It goes on to state: “Review of the curriculum has taken unduly long since the year 2013. The draft programme earlier approved by the senate was later discovered to have missed requisite information and hence could not be forwarded to the Commission for University Education for approval.

“Failure of the division in expediting the process and lack of exercising due diligence in the process of reviewing the curriculum continues to expose the university negatively.”

The council has also accused her of not streamlining the progression of students in line with the approved undergraduate regulations. “Some students have been studying units without observing the academic years the unit is supposed to be offered, negating the purpose of the existence of the curriculum,” adds the letter.

It adds: “Some students have not been receiving their letters of admission prior to attending classes, especially in the collaboration colleges and satellite campuses. A case in point is where letters are issued to students as they prepare to graduate.”

Maasai Mara University has since closed five of its satellite campuses in Kilgoris, Nyandarua, Bomet, Kajiado and Kisii, and attributed this to the government’s initiative to control unnecessary expansion of public universities.

The council also accuses her of failure by her division to release examination results to students on time as some students have never received their complete results to date. The division is said to have ignored deadlines set on processing of examination results by two or more years.

“Migration of students from one campus to another has not been properly controlled. Some students have been switching their stations of study at will, further confounding the problem of missing marks,” states the letter.

“Concerns have been noted in curriculum review, progression of students, admissions, processing of examination results, graduands lists, anomalies in certificates, students unrest, insubordination, campus transfers and conflict of interest,” it adds.

A report by the special advisory committee on universities that was led by former University of Nairobi vice-chancellors Crispus Kiamba and Prof George Magoba, and which was submitted to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on October 25, indicates that universities flout CUE standards and regulations with impunity.

“The CUE’s approach in compliance is punitive and their interventions come too late, resulting in conflict between universities and CUE,” states the report, which proposes continuous engagement between universities and CUE.

EXPOSING UNIVERSITY TO UNREST

Prof Kadenyi is being accused of arrogating herself the power to appoint an acting DVC (AR &SA), while she proceeded on leave for protesting the appointment of the same by the chair of the council.

“On the same count, you received a letter meant for the vice-chancellor and called for VC’s subsequent action without notifying her that you had received the letter. You failed to respond to a letter requiring you to fast-track review of the curriculum as directed by the council,” adds the letter.

The council also claims that her division has failed to deliver on the mandate of student affairs, exposing the university to unrest.

These incidents include the cultural week activities of 2015, the town campus grievances of 2016 and on HELB disbursement and the university calendar.

She is also on the spot for attending an interview to consider applicants for the post of reproductive health nurse, medical health records officers, pharmaceutical technologist, clinical officer and medical laboratory technologist on April 1, 2014 where one of the interviewees, Grace Moraa Orina, her relative, was successfully appointed.

“You violated the human resource policies and procedures manual for public service,” adds the letter.

It goes on to state: “Universities have not integrated consultation with CUE, as a partner, in matters concerning standards, such as the establishment of campuses, mounting of programmes and requisite faculty staff, among others. CUE should endeavour to cultivate mutual respect and cordial working relationships with all universities.

Over and above ensuring that Standards are met, CUE should seek to advise and guide the universities as a partner that is interested in the realization of Universities’ visions.”

Fuente noticia: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/education/Suspension-letter-exposes-rot-in-varsities/2643604-3450740-lb90iaz/index.html

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