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Kenya: NCIC, KFCB sensitize university students on political intolerance

Africa/Kenya/26-02-2021/Authors: Hunja Macharia / Haniel Mengistu/Source:

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has embarked on a sensitization programe for university students to curb rising political temperatures.

NCIC in partnership with Kenya film classification board KFCB sensitized university students on National values and peace to enhance good values and governance among the youth at the grassroots.

Speaking in Mombasa during a training on countering electoral Violence and political intolerance, NCIC Deputy Director of communication Olive Metet urged university leaders to promote peace in the country.

“We are sensitizing them on their role as university student’s leaders to go and preach the gospel of political tolerance to their comrades now that the youth are being used by politicians to cause chaos.” She said.

About 70 students from 24 universities were taken through the sensitization workshop held at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa.

Jennifer Mukami Mbogo, Multimedia University students union president lauded the move terming it as an eye opener for university students.

“We are calling on positive use of social media during this political season instead of using it as a tool to propagate hatred. As youths we should be mature enough to ensure peace prevails and that the youth are not victims of political chaos,” Mukami said.

KFCB Executive Director Ezekiel Mutua said it is important to involve the youth in peace building for sustainable moral values in the society.

Mutua now wants University student leaders to be involved in national policy formulations saying they should be part of nation development.

“University student leaders play a critical role in shaping the society, student leaders should be involved in key policy formulations so that they can shape the future of youth leadership,” Mutua said.

University students leaders present were from Kenyatta University, Multimedia University, Moi University, Technical university of Mombasa, Nairobi University among other public and private universities in the country.

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Kenya: MKU VC lauds digital learning as University welcomes new students

Africa/Kenya/15-11-2020/Autor(a): Hunja Macharia/Fuente:

Mount Kenya University has successfully embraced digital platforms to support online learning through innovative and collaborative technologies.

MKU Vice Chancellor Stanley Waudo says the decision was arrived at after the Government closed all learning institutions early in the year after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

“On-line learning is student-centered; it encourages students to take responsibility of their own learning through solving problems, practicing, progressing and has real-time feedback from educators. Undoubtedly, with the wider spread of technology, online learning has the potential of being a viable alternative mode of learning,” Waudo said.

The Vice Chancellor spoke during the orientation of new students who are joining the University to undertake various courses.

He said the purpose of student orientation is to equip new students with information that can facilitate adaption to an academic environment.

Waudo emphasized on the need for students to embrace online learning saying, “Digital transformation in Kenya and across the globe is a trend that has redefined learning through creating learning experiences that inspire lifelong learning.”

He called for student responsibility in online learning saying they must Overcome perceptions and preconceptions about online learning as well as avoid dependence on teachers.

Waudo said the University stands for innovation, excellence, integrity and unity of purpose and urged the new students to put a lot of emphasis on the values.

“I draw your attention to the four MKU core values which will enable each one of you to adapt positively within our environment,” He said.

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Chile, China look to further academic, research cooperation

South America/Chile/23-10-2020/Author and Source:

Chile and China are accelerating scientific and academic cooperation in areas such as astronomy, medicine, science, technology, and art.

«Collaboration with Chinese universities is extremely relevant. For our university, the relationship with Asia and particularly with China is of great importance and we have already developed areas of work that have been strengthened in the last 14 years,» Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC) Ignacio Sanchez said during a virtual conference on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, authorities from Chilean and Chinese universities participated in a panel that was part of a series of talks offered by UC’s Confucius Institute to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and China.

On his visits to Chinese universities, Sanchez said that he was «greatly impressed by the development and work they have been doing,» such as Nanjing University, Fudan University and Tsinghua University, with whom UC has strong ties.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible to have remote interdisciplinary cooperation with China on health and crisis management, and it is one of UC’s priorities to move towards digitization.

«While COVID-19 continues to affect the world and universities … cooperation between China and Chile in medical and public health studies may be a very important and urgent area in the near future,» said Vice President of Fudan University Chen Zhimin.

He also said that Fudan University «is very willing to work with other universities» in Chile to achieve «collaboration of the highest level,» with an emphasis on scientific-academic research, the social sciences, environmental studies, as well as innovation and technology, among others.

Vice President of Nanjing University Wang Zhenlin said that the joint work between China and Latin America to promote «a comprehensive partnership for common development, based on equity and mutual benefit» has opened opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation in many areas.

Wang pointed out that ties between China and Chile have made it possible in recent years to improve cooperation in science, technology, education, and culture, thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, through which Nanjing University cooperate with 31 universities in 11 countries.

The panelists also discussed fruitful diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have made it possible to build bridges of understanding, bring language and cultures closer together, and strengthen ties at all levels between Chile and China. Enditem

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Kenya: Lecturers’ strike blights graduation for UoN medical students

Africa/Kenya/11-10-2020/Author and Source:

Medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses undertaking their studies at the University of Nairobi and who were set to be conferred with honours this year risk missing out following a lecturers’ strike which commenced Thursday.

Lecturers drawn from the College of Health Sciences and Kenyatta National Hospital campus through a statement claim they have resolved to strike due to failure by the employer to pay clinical allowances.

University Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga says his members feel short-changed over what he says is a unilateral withdrawal of payment of the clinical allowances by the University in complete disregard of employment and labour laws.

“The consequence of the strike is that unless the clinical allowances are reinstated, the UoN shall not graduate medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses this year,” read the statement.

According to Wasonga, staff in other Universities are receiving their clinical allowances without facing similar obstacles.

“….funding required for the clinical allowances was disbursed by the National Treasury in July to the campus accounts. As such, no additional funding is required,” he added.

Wasonga says UASU had given the campus numerous chances to resolve the dispute through dialogue with limited success.

According to UASU, as of Thursday morning, pending allowances which were to be cleared a week from 15th September 2020 have not been paid to the majority of the academic staff.

Wasonga saying the strike would have far-reaching effects because the country is in the middle of a pandemic and will also, derail the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage Agenda as envisaged.

This even as he maintained that his members will not be cowed by threats nor intimidations as they demand their rights.

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Kenya: President Kenyatta presides over KU Hospital opening

Africa/Kenya/13-09-2020/Author: Christine Muchira/Source:

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to preside over the official opening of Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.
The 650-bed capacity National Referral Hospital is well equipped to offer services in Oncology, Trauma and Orthopedics among other specialised areas.
The hospital has been built and equipped with the latest technology with global standards expected to ease the financial burden of Kenyans seeking medical care abroad.
It will also be used to carry out medical/scientific research to come up with innovative ways to address health issues in the country and the region.
The grand opening of the hospital is in line with the President’s Big Four Agenda which aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2022.
Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital is the first hospital in the country to operationalise the purely referral model which does not receive walk-in patients apart from emergency cases.
One of the hospital´s flagship projects is the Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre aimed at filling the cancer care gaps in the country in early screening, diagnosis and treatment.
Currently, the Cancer Centre can provide radiotherapy treatment to 60 patients a day, thereby reducing the waiting period experienced in the country today.
The hospital is also in the process of constructing and equipping the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC) that will offer further Comprehensive Cancer Care.
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Kenya, COVID-19: Embu University rolls out virtual learning platform

Africa/Kenya/06-09-2020/Autor(a):Muraya Kamunde/Fuente:

La Universidad de Embu ha lanzado una plataforma de aprendizaje virtual en un intento por hacer terreno para la interrupción del aprendizaje en la universidad.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Daniel Mugendi says the university has already enrolled over 2,400 first-year students for the online classes set to begin Monday next week.

Embu University has conducted a virtual orientation for its 2,475 new students in readiness for online classes set to begin on Monday.

The university says it has chosen to go the digital way in a bid to solve the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Mugendi says the online classes will help the institution implement safe social distancing and minimize personal contact between the students.

The government said that schools will only reopen when it is safe to do so, though pressure continues to mount on the government to allow institutions of higher learning resume classes.

This comes as Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said that the purpose of reopening schools was mainly because of equipping learners with actual and practical skills.

The Education CS spoke after touring the Meru National Polytechnic to assess the preparedness for reopening schools said as much as the government encourages virtual learning some skills were better achieved through actual classroom activities.

“For these institutions, it is of paramount importance for them to serve the country using their hands they also going virtual but they are not like universities where you can give and monitor a lot of content virtually,” he explained.

The CS has urged in technical and other higher learning institutions to expedite in attaining the minimum recommended Covid-19 health guidelines so that students can resume their classes as quickly as possible.

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Kenya: Magoha faults individuals who failed to implement laptop project

Africa/Kenya/16-08-2020/Author: Sarafina Robi/ Beth Nyaga/Source:

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has faulted individuals who failed to implement the Government’s laptop project that would have salvaged the current situation.

Magoha who was attending the start of a two-day stakeholders meeting on university reforms challenged institutions of higher learning to invest in online classes and address challenges of funding.

It is at this meeting that the Education CS took a swipe at individuals who he says failed to ensure the implementation of laptops for all school-going children which would have come in handy in ensuring learning continues as the nation battles the pandemic.

At the same time, he challenged universities to invest in virtual learning to ensure learning continues.

Magoha also took issue with what he termed as the flawed funding formula for Universities calling on the stakeholders to deliberate on sustainable financing of the institution as opposed to over-reliance on government financing.

He also called for greater autonomy at universities even as he hailed the move by 70 per cent of universities to adopt key COVID 19 measures as advised by the ministry.

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This comes after two days after the CS announced that 3000 private schools are set to benefit from a Ksh7 billion concessional loan from the government to support infrastructural development in readiness for schools reopening in January.

The loan is to be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% will support areas like installation of ICT systems to ensure learning continues during the phased reopening of schools.

The loan will also be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% and will be dependent on the absorption rate of an institution.

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To ensure social distancing during learning, schools will be expected to construct extra classrooms with availed funds.

Schools that will get the money will also be expected procure sanitary and hand-washing stations to ensure the highest levels of hygiene.

With schools expected to reopen in January, the government funds are also expected to cater to ICT infrastructure in readiness for a phased reopening.

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