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Kenya: PS Nabukwesi says research will improve quality of higher education

Africa/Kenya/30-07-2021/Author:ERIC BIEGON, KNA/Source:

The Principal Secretary in the State Department of University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi has yet again made a case for more research in the country’s institutions of higher learning.

Speaking during the official opening of the 5th Annual Conference of the Co-operative University of Kenya, Amb Nabukwesi noted that nations that lack the capacity to carry out their own research, struggle when faced with challenges such as the current covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 global pandemic shows us, in more ways than we could have imagined, that we are all connected as a people irrespective of the many boundaries and restrictions that we may have,” The PS said,

He added that “when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya, most of us, if not all, imagined that this would be a passing cloud and that soon we would resume our normal day to day activities”

Nabukwesi however expressed satisfaction given that during the two-day-Conference, a number of academic papers will be presented under the theme of ‘Social and Solidarity Economy as a catalyst for resilience, inclusivity, and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals,’

“I am glad to hear that this is the second conference that the University is holding virtually, to discuss Covid-19, a commendable achievement to the University and organizers of this event,” remarked the PS.

This kind of resilience, Nabukwesi said, emphasizes that life has to indeed move on and research has to be done and documented. He emphasized that research is, will remain to be, a major activity in any institution of higher learning worth its name.

Further, the PS said research informs the development strategies of any nation and Kenya is no exception.

“It has been reported that less than two percent of all Africans are vaccinated against Covid-19 while in the US it is about 50 percent,” added Nabukwesi.

This Report, the PS said, is a sad reality that serves as an eye-opener for developing countries such as Kenya, that special attention and resources ought to be directed towards research and development.

Nabukwesi said the Ministry continues to lay great emphasis on the importance of research as a means to solving Kenyan, African, and even global challenges.

“My challenge to faculty in this University is to contribute to the generation of new knowledge on Cooperatives and how Cooperatives can help us to resolve societal challenges,” added the PS.

Nabukwesi said that he would like to see more research from faculty that focuses, among other topics, on how the country can harness the greatness of Cooperatives to contribute to the Government’s Development Agenda, including contributing to the ‘Big Four’ Agenda.

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Kenya: Clergymen call for review of tax regime, reduction of school fees


Religious leaders have faulted the government of Kenya for the high cost of living occasioned by rise in prices of basic commodities, and called for a review of the current tax regime to cushion Kenyans from the tough economic times.

Speaking at Kangeta in Igembe Central, Meru County Sunday when they presided over the induction of two church ministers into Archdeacons, the head of the National Independent Church of Africa (NICA) Archbishop Dr. Stephen Marete and Bishop Stephen Kalunyu who heads the NICA Mission Diocese which covers Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit noted that the suffering of Kenyans had reached record levels never witnessed before, calling upon those in authority to urgently consider reviewing the current tax regime which will bring a sigh of relief to vulnerable Kenyans.

Archbishop Marete advised that the tough economic times calls for proper priorities by the government, arguing that projects like the BBI referendum which is currently on halt could wait for better times, arguing that the Covid 19 pandemic has already worsened the situation.

The Cleric also faulted the move by a number of universities to increase school fees which led to student protests, arguing that such a move was ill advised and untimely.

He noted that even the previous amounts charged by the institutions of learning were already an uphill task for struggling Kenyans to raise and should therefore be reduced to manageable levels.

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Kenya: Universities urged to invest in research, innovation and publications

Africa/Kenya/02-07-2021/Author: Source:

Kisii University Vice Chancellor Professor John Akama has challenged Kenyan universities to seek more resources for research, innovation and publications as a core mandate of university education.

Speaking during the launch of his book ‘Undeterred: A Rural Boy’s Journey to the Pinnacle of Academia’ at Kisii University, Professor Akama said most individuals with doctorate degrees and professor titles have not done sufficient work in research and innovation or published their work.

“One of the guest professors from the University of Toronto told us that the lecturers there are researchers and innovators. As such, the university gets about 50 million dollars in grants for research purposes and through their research, they contribute almost 20 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Canada with new products and scientific knowledge creation,” said Akama.

The Vice Chancellor noted that developed countries had made great strides in the fields of agriculture, industry and medicine due to the quality of university education they offer and urged policymakers to give more emphasis on university education.

“Even the Covid-19 vaccines that we have now have been developed by scientists who work in science labs in universities and therefore, if we undermine research, we cannot develop,” added Akama.

He asked the universities to push for more public-private partnerships from government and private institutions in order to secure more resources for their academic and innovation agenda.

Akama decried an increase in social media engagements as opposed to reading books and urged Kenyans, especially lecturers to interrogate academic work.

The book ‘Undeterred: A Rural Boy’s Journey to the Pinnacle of Academia’ narrates Professor Akama’s unique and personal story of overcoming many odds and succeeding in several fronts to get to the pinnacle of academia and university leadership.

Prof Akama grew up in a simple rural African setting in Kenya’s hinterland, and was raised by a typical Kenyan peasant family with meagre resources and limited frills.

“He went through early childhood enculturation and basic education in rural Kenyan schools, characterized by limited educational resources, scant infrastructure and minimal facilities,” reads part of the synopsis.


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Kenya: Shortage of professors a concern at Kenyatta university says VC

Africa/Kenya/04-06-2021/Author and Source:

Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor, Paul Wainaina, has raised concern over few number of professors in the institution, saying it might affect the quality of future education and research.

He said the University has not had a full professor for the past four years to replace those who retire or leave through other causes pointing out that Department of Education has only four full and two associate professors.

Prof. Wanaina observed that most of the remaining professors will be all gone in the coming years, leaving the university at cross roads in terms of education quality and research.

“The future of every university lies with its think tanks who are the professors. There used to be a time when we used to be like eight full professors and several associates. Now it is worrying because I have just a few years left before I leave and I have not seen anyone close to a professor level,” he said.

He said it may seem like dark days in the education industry since the mainstay of quality education is evidence-based knowledge brought by professors.

The Don called on lecturers to further their studies through doing more research and attain the prof. stature, in order to save the future of the departments and the quality of education in the country.

“Professors are the apex of scholarship in any university. We need to get more lecturers promoted into professors to save the quality of education starting with teaching, doing research for solving problems of this nation,” said Wainaina.

He was speaking as one of the lecturers, Dr. Rubai Mandela, launched a book, Before Two Become One, at a Ruiru hotel.

He said the university would support those in the field of research to attain those high education accolades to ensure they bring out qualified scholars, who will hold up the university in future.

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Kenya: University slots exceed qualified KCSE candidates

Africa/Kenya/28-05-2021/Author and Source:

Candidates who sat the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) will know the universities and colleges they have been selected to by the end of July 2021.

Education CS Prof George Magoha announced that 160,160 slots were up for grabs in public and private universities under the government-sponsored programme and 331,045 spaces in Technical and TVET institutions.

This means that all the 143,140 candidates who scored C+ and above will be absorbed in universities of their choice.

Magoha was speaking at Joseph Kangethe primary school in Nairobi where he launched the university placement process by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

KUCCPS has consequently opened its online portal for application and revision of degrees and college choices for the 2020 KCSE Candidates.

“I am pleased to note that KUCCPS is ready to proceed with university and college placement for the 2020 KCSE candidates. Accordingly, I wish to announce that the Revision of Choices for Placement to Degree, Diploma, Artisan and Craft Courses will commence today, May 24th, 2021” said Magoha.

“Consequently, I have directed KUCCPS to open its system for the 2020 KCSE cohort to review and, if they so wish, make changes to the courses that they selected through their schools. Candidates who were not able to apply in school will use the opportunity to submit their choices” he added.

A total of 893 candidates who sat the exam and whose results were released early this month attained a mean grade of A Plain while 143,140 scored C+.

The 2020 exam was the first ever to be conducted under the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted the school calendar.

However, the students defied the odds to record a sterling performance. An additional 17,393 candidates qualified for admission to university compared to 2019’s 125,747 candidates who attained C+ and above.

The higher education institutions will admit the students in the new academic year beginning September 2021.

“All applicants will know the universities and colleges they have been selected to by the end of July 2021. This will enable our higher education institutions to admit the students in the new academic year beginning September 2021. The students and their parents will also have ample time to prepare adequately” said Magoha as he affirmed government’s commitment to providing an opportunity for every child to pursue a career of their choice.

“I wish to reiterate that all the 143,140 candidates who scored a mean grade of C+ and above will be absorbed by our universities and TVET institutions by choice. Further, the remaining 600,159 are eligible to apply for TVET programmes offered in our National Polytechnics and other Technical Training Institutions” he said.

747,161 candidates sat the examination across the 10,565 centres in the country.

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Kenya: Phase two of Digital Literacy Programe to be rolled out soon

Africa/Kenya/26-03-2021/Author: Haniel Mengistu/Source:

ICT, Innovation and youth affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has hinted that phase two of the government’s Digital Literacy Programe (DLP) will be rolled out soon after solving budgetary delays with the Treasury.

The programme which was started by the government in 2013 aims at ensuring pupils in grade one  to three are able to use digital technology and communication tools in learning with an overarching objective of transforming learning in Kenya into a 21st Century education system.

“We are in the final stages to roll out phase two, there is an intersectional consultation and once the pending issues that mostly are budget issues we it will be unveiled,” Mucheru said.

“We have finished the first phase. In the second phase we have the Competence Based Curriculum  so we are now restructuring the programe to fit in in the new versus the previous one,” said Mucheru.

Mucheru however has said an inter-ministerial team is in the process of making final touches ahead of the official roll out that seeks to ensure learners ensure digital learning services.

The CS clarified that the DLP programme is implemented in phases and that construction of computer laboratories are one of the deliverables in phase two of the programme.

“There is budget involvements, so I believe once we are finished with treasury and education then I believe we will be able to roll out, as you know Moi university and Jomo Kenyatta University have already put up infrastructure and assembly of the programe but it was delayed by the covid-19 challenges,”Mucheru added.

The computer labs are meant to enable learners from the upper grades of class four to eight access computers for learning to ensure that there is inclusivity for all the learners.

About 21,630 primary schools countrywide have been equipped with the requisite infrastructure in phase one of the programe.

At the same time the senate standing committee on information and technology chairman Gideon Moi called for the fast tracking of implementation of pending technology programs to accelerate digital transformation.

Gideon Moi

“There’s need to scrutinize stalled projects especially in the Counties such as the County connectivity and the fibre optic backbone infrastructure, among others. This will facilitate a smoother transition to the new normal,” said Moi

This happens as a big portion of the Kenyan population now working from home and with students out of school at one point in 2020, the Internet has become a classroom, and a workplace where meeting space and business platforms are undertaken.

“The post-COVID-19 era has brought forward a new normal – one that will accelerate digital transformation in many areas. These include digital economy, digital finance, digital government, digital health, and digital education. Indeed, many Government organizations and businesses have already turned to digital platforms and digital solutions,” Said Moi.

He added “COVID-19 pandemic has exposed harsh fragilities and digital divides that have been allowed to develop for far too long. We are therefore, here too to find answers by taking into account the lessons learned and good practices gained during the COVID period,”.

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Kenya: Moi University students demonstrate over delayed disbursement of HELB Loans

Africa/Kenya/12-03-2021/Autor(a) y Fuente:

According to the University student leadership, the loan has been delayed for three months now, a situation that has left most of the students helpless.

The angry students protested along Uganda Road in Eldoret town calling upon the HELB management to respond to the issue urgently warning that they will be forced to paralyze all activities in Eldoret town by Monday if they will not have received the loans.

“HELB is the only salary for the comrades, the delays cause a burden to us,” said the Chairman, Moi University School of Law Annex Chair, Budi Gini.

The students who were waving placards said the loan was supposed to have been disbursed the first or second week after the university opened.

«We have teamed up with the main campus, town campus, and the school of law, Annex to air our grievances,” said Kasina Manasseh, the Moi University Economic Students’ Association Assistant Secretary-General.

“The Dean of Students told us that he had contacted the HELB management and forwarded the names of the students on session, but when we contacted HELB, they claim the HELB loans have been disbursed partially, but nothing is reflecting in our bank accounts, who is tricking who?” posed Kasina.

Kasina claimed other universities such as the University of Nairobi, Kenya Methodist University, Maseno University among others have already received their money.

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