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Kenya: WPP-Scangroup, KCB roll out university mentorship programme

Africa/Kenya/11-10-2019/Author(a): Margaret Kalekye/Source:

Two of Kenya’s listed companies – WPP-Scangroup and KCB Group have partnered with Strathmore Business School to launch a program that provides university students with a platform to launch their marketing communications professional careers.

The talent incubation program dubbed “The Crucible” aims at creating a sustainable talent pipeline for the marketing and communication industry and equipping students with the necessary practical skills they need to launch their professional careers.

The program kicked off in August with the launch of the inaugural Crucible National Student Marketing Competition, an industrywide initiative that brought together marketing and communication students from all major public and private universities around the country to create an integrated marketing communication campaign for select KCB Group products.

The competition will give students an opportunity to put in practice what they learn in their advertising, public relations, marketing research and digital marketing classes.

The winning team will walk away with paid internships with a WPP-Scangroup agency of their choice and a purchase offer from KCB to commercially develop their campaign idea.

Additionally, the winners will receive a monetary token coupled with a scholarship for an advanced course in Integrated Brand Communications from the International School of Advertising among other prizes.

Speaking during a roundtable event organized by the Strathmore Business School, WPP-Scangroup Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bharat Thakrar said that the partnership will help promote the industry, build skills and create a future pipeline of talent.

“Our most valuable business asset are the people working within WPP-Scangroup. Their insights, ideas, inputs and executions have helped our clients sustain and grow their business over the years,” said Mr. Thakrar.

Speaking on behalf of Strathmore Business School, The Head of Marketing Faculty Dr. James Njuguna said: “Employers often complain about universities producing marketing and communications students with little practical knowledge to solve real-world business problems. We hope this initiative will address some of these concerns and be a training ground for students to bridge the gap between academic theory and professional practice.”

All contestant teams have undergone the first round of judging after which 5 best teams were shortlisted and will be required to present to a final judging panel and representatives from the KCB Group.

This inaugural edition of the Crucible National Student Marketing Competition is also sponsored by Blaze by Safaricom, Kartasi industries and the International School of Advertising, and endorsed by the Association of Practitioners in Advertising among others.

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Nigeria plans to launch education bond

Africa/ Nigeria/ 19.11.2018/ Source:

Nigeria has resolved to set up an education bond to finance infrastructure in public universities, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.Buhari made the idea known at the University of Ibadan on the occasion of the institution’s 2018 Convocation and 70th Foundation Day Ceremony.

Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President, said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, that Buhari, who is the Visitor to the University, was represented by the Vice President. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Buhari restated that education could not be left to government alone as none of the world’s leading universities depended wholly or even substantially on government funding.

He said that universities all over the world had evolved innovative means of financing and investment to meet their funding needs and become financially sustainable.

Buhari added that one of the solutions that must be explored is the alumni network, noting the University of Ibadan’s vast alumni network, by virtue of its age, has a lot to offer.

“Amongst other options, we are working on the details of an education infrastructure bond for public universities, to involve raising money from the capital market to give a push to infrastructure in our universities.

“Our on-going talks with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are a fallout of the chequered history of negotiations concluded in 2013 with government.

“There is no question that ASUU has a point. However, we must seek to resolve it amicably and with minimum disruption to the academic calendar,” he said.

According to him, given the radical changes that technology has brought to bear in both the challenges and opportunities in education, the N-Power employment scheme of the Buhari administration provides a technology platform to train teachers.

Buhari noted that the N-Power programme, a technology driven employment and skills training programme, has employed 500,000 young men and women who are hired using a technology platform developed by young Nigerians.

He said that in the next few years, both teacher training and teaching would be largely driven by technology; with university education, especially scientific research, made easy by virtual reality and Artificial intelligence tools.

The president said that the current gaps in educational attainment in the country had made it clear that Nigeria had to change both the substance of education its children received and the methods by which they are taught.

According to him, the early stage investment in primary and secondary school education is key to becoming a knowledge-driven economy.

He said that Federal Government’s policy was to develop and introduce STEAM education – Science Education, Engineering, Arts and Math – curriculum in primary and secondary schools.

Buhari said that the curriculum covered training in skills in cross disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies, coding, digital arts, design thinking and robotics.

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China: Students rally against UEC recognition

By: Dzulkifly

Some 400 students demonstrated in the city centre here today against the government’s possible move to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) in Chinese independent schools.

Gerakan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) president Mohd Faizzudin Mohd Zai, who organised the protest, claimed the recognition of the school-leaving certificate for entry into public universities and the civil service could fracture national unity.

“UEC could worsen national unity. The different use of language could lead to segregation among the races.

“As a people of different religions, views and culture, the use of the national language is what ties us together, he said.

Gamis deputy president Imran Baharuddin also voiced his concern about the recognition of UEC, claiming that it would further polarise the nation.

“We do not want to see Chinese students only mingle with Chinese students and Malay students only hang around with other Malay students. That is unhealthy for national unity,’’ he said.

The rally also aimed to show support to Education Minister Maszlee Malik, whom Faizzuddin said might have been pressured to recognise the UEC.

“We also want to show our support to the education minister. Don’t be afraid as we are with you, as well as 7,000 other students who have voiced their support for you,’’ said Faizzudin.

Faizzuddin said the protest went without a hitch, though there were a few incidents of protesters being forcefully pushed by unknown parties.

A special branch officer on the ground who observed the protest verified that there were some 400 protestors and no untoward incidents were recorded.


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Kenya Public Universities Crack Whip on Striking Lecturers

África/Kenya/ 21.05.2018/ From: allafrica.

Public universities have started cracking the whip on striking lecturers and other staff as the industrial action enters its third month on Tuesday.

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has suspended 35 lecturers after they declined to return to work following Labour Court’s ruling that declared the strike illegal and unprotected last month.

Technical University of Kenya (TUK) on Friday started a head count of lecturers who are teaching, and has threatened to sack those who will not report to work.

The government is set to launch an inter-ministerial Task Force to discuss the stand-off that has led to a biting strike by lecturers in public universities.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, whom lecturers have accused of not playing ball, will launch the task force at Jogoo House Thursday morning.

The bone of contention between lecturers and the government is a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the Universities Academic Staff Union.


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Kenya Public Universities Crack Whip on Striking Lecturers

Kenya/May 01, 2018/By Ouma Wanzala/ Source:

The University of Nairobi has taken the lead by suspending 35 lecturers after they declined to return to work following the Labour Court’s ruling that declared the pay strike illegal and unprotected in March. The industrial action enters its third month on May 1.

Public universities have started cracking the whip on striking lecturers and other staff as the industrial action enters its third month on Tuesday.

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has suspended 35 lecturers after they declined to return to work following Labour Court’s ruling that declared the strike illegal and unprotected last month.

Technical University of Kenya (TUK) on Friday started a head count of lecturers who are teaching, and has threatened to sack those who will not report to work.

At UoN, acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration Isaac Mbeche said the suspension is a warning to those who are still on strike.

«We are now dealing with individuals since they have different contracts with the university. If you do not come to work without permission, there are consequences,» Prof Mbeche warned.


He said the institution wrote to staff asking them to resume work, and that those who abided have not been punished.

«Some wrote back agreeing to resume work while others insisted they were still on strike,» Prof Mbeche said, adding that learning had resumed at the institution.

Last month, the university denied more than 1,200 staff their salaries for boycotting work.

At TUK, all staff are now required to sign commitment forms as the institution moves to ensure that operations are normalised.

«The directors of schools and heads of administrative units are hereby requested to ensure compliance with this directive by submitting completed commitment forms to the management,» a circular by Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration and Planning, Joseph Kiplangat, reads.

Staff at the university who are still on strike are set to start receiving their suspension letters today.


At Moi University, Vice-Chancellor Isaac Kosgey has warned that the striking staff will not get their salaries.

«Other disciplinary measures will be taken as the university council advises.

«Staff who are ready to resume work can do so by registering with the respective heads of departments on a daily basis with immediate effect,» Prof Kosgey said.

At Kenyatta University, lecturers are now required to sign forms indicating their willingness to teach, and which must be submitted to deputy VC in charge of administration and planning.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University has since adjusted its academic calendar for all students due to the strike.


Students in most universities have gone home as they wait for a solution to the crisis that has affected learning for the last one year.

The strike, which started on March 1, has paralysed learning in all 31 public universities. Lecturers are demanding Sh38 billion for the 2017-2021 CBA.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last week set up a team to table a counter-offer.

«The impact of these perennial strikes has, to say the least, been disastrous.

«The image of our university education worldwide is taking a severe beating.

«Our students are taking more than double the period required to complete academic programmes and employers are losing faith in the capacity of our graduates,» Ms Mohamed said.


Ms Mohamed said with the enactment of the Constitution and the subsequent creation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, all salaries in the public sector must now be based on advice from the commission.

However, Universities Academic Staff Union Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said lecturers will only call off their strike after receiving an offer.

«We are used to threats, and we will now be forced back to work,» Dr Wasonga said.

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Kenya University Students Protest Against Lecturers’ Strike

Kenya/April 07, 2018/ Allafrica

Resumen: Estudiantes universitarios protestaron el miércoles en Nairobi contra la huelga de profesores que ha paralizado el aprendizaje durante más de un mes. Los estudiantes de varias universidades públicas acusaron al Ministerio de Educación de no abordar la crisis actual.

Students from various public universities have accused the education ministry of failing to address the crisis with striking lecturers, saying it is having a negative impact on their studies and causing them to graduate late.

University students on Wednesday protested in Nairobi against the lecturers’ strike that has paralysed learning for over a month.

The students from various public universities accused the Education ministry of failure to address the ongoing crisis.

Kenyatta University student Peter Evans said many of them were unable to graduate in time due to the strike and demanded that the government address the issue to prevent further agony.

«We are tired of staying in the university without learning. We want to go back to class,» Mr Evans.


Another student, Mr Dennis Kipsigei, from the University of Nairobi, said they ended up staying in the institutions longer than they should.

«A degree course that is supposed to take only four years is now taking over six years, which is unacceptable. We want the Education ministry to look into the plight of students,» he urged.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said she had not commented on the matter due to lack of accurate data on the staff of the public universities across the country.

«Now I can say with a measure of comfort that we have received 80 per cent of the data. We are going to assess it in collaboration with an inter-ministerial committee that is looking into the demands being raised and forge the way forward,» she said.


However, Ms Mohamed reminded the lecturers that they were in contempt of court by failing to go back to work.

 The government has said it will use the data to make a counter-offer to the lecturers and other staff estimated to be 27,000.

The staff, who belong to the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu), the Kenya Universities Staff Union and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospital and Allied Workers, challenged the Ms Mohamed to explain why the ministry did not have an accurate record of the public universities’ workers.

Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said the Ms Mohamed had failed in her mandate if the ministry could not give the exact number of the employees.

«How can she not know the number of employees in the universities? This shows that the ministry has not been doing its work properly,» said Dr Wasonga.


As the protests continued, Deputy President William Ruto was holding a meeting with officials from the Education ministry and the Treasury.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang attended the meeting.

However, Ms Mohamed was at Mary Hill Girls High School in Kiambu County for the prize-giving day.

«Held discussion with officials of the ministries of Education and National Treasury, Nairobi,» Mr Ruto tweeted.

His spokesman, Mr David Mugonyi, later told the Nation the discussions between the DP and the officials were on secondary and tertiary education.


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Kenia: Public universities staff set for contract employment

Kenia / 22 de noviembre de 2017 / Por: OUMA WANZALA / Fuente:

Tough times await public universities as the government moves to reform the sector it says has been riddled with financial mismanagement and poor governance.

The second phase of the reforms of the sector, which started in February, will see thousands of teaching and non-teaching staff put on contract, a number of them retrenched, a freeze in setting up satellite campuses, and development of a single payroll system, among other changes.

The radical reforms were unveiled on Wednesday by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at a meeting attended by vice-chancellors and council chairpersons of the 31 public universities at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi.


However, the universities management questioned the motive of the reforms, saying some of them cannot be hurriedly rolled out without appropriate consultation.

Kisii University VC John Akama said the proposals need to be interrogated further, noting that the government should not be preoccupied with financial mismanagement yet the universities are struggling to remain afloat.

Prof Akama said a critical issue such as the lecturers’ strike that started on November 1 had been ignored by the ministry yet it is important as learning is not going on at the institutions.

“No one is talking about the lecturers’ strike. We cannot talk about quality education when we have no resources. The issue of funding of public universities should be properly interrogated,” said Prof Akama.

The chairman of the Vice-Chancellors Committee, Prof Francis Aduol, said there is need to revisit some of the policies that are being developed by the government regarding universities.

“We should not rush these reforms. As vice-chancellors, we will look at the proposals and make our recommendations,” said Prof Aduol, who is also the VC of the Technical University of Kenya.


The government has frozen the establishment of satellite campuses across the country, a move it believes will allow universities to expand existing campuses.

The establishment of satellite campuses was aimed at tapping into Kenya’s growing population that is thirsty for education.

The government is proposing the employment of staff at two levels — contract as well as permanent and pensionable. The proposal is set to be effected next year.

The move is aimed at weeding out staff who do not work yet earn salaries and are assured of pension.

The decision will prompt the institutions to allocate funds for retrenchment.

“We must get rid of staff who only teach one lesson and use the rest of the time to do their own business.


“We cannot have a cleaner on permanent terms. We must get out of this obsession with permanent and pensionable terms,” said Dr Matiang’i.

Putting staff on a single payroll will also affect the institutions since those with parallel programmes need lecturers to teach the students.

“Lecturers are supposed to teach for eight hours. After that, it is extra work. If we do not want to pay them, then we must collapse self-sponsored programmes into regular,” said a senior lecturer.

The decision to demand self- sponsored students’ funds from universities could complicate the matter as the cash is normally used to finance development projects.

“You cannot collect money, give it to the government and expect it to wire back the same cash for development.
“The government should keep off and allow these institutions, which are independent, to run their affairs,” said Universities Academic Staff Union secretary-general Constantine Wasonga.

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