Kenyatta Grant Charters To Eight Universities
President Uhuru Kenyatta granted charters to eight institutions of higher learning on Tuesday, elevating them to the status of universities.
Kaimosi Friends University (Vihiga), Alupe University (Busia), Tom Mboya University (Homa Bay), and Tharaka University were among the eight institutions located in eight counties (Tharaka Nithi).
Lukenya University (Makueni), Zetech University (Kiambu), Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology (Nairobi), and East African University are the others (Kajiado).
Speaking at the Kakamega State Lodge, the President challenged universities to change course in the delivery of higher education in the country to meet market demands.
“This is because in an increasingly globalized employment and entrepreneurship landscape, our children are no longer merely competing with their fellow citizens here in Kenya but actually with learners from across the world,” said President Kenyatta.
At the same time, the President urged universities and other institutions of higher learni
ng to streamline their operations in order to avoid corruption in the issuance of degree certificates.
He stated that corruption not only harms the reputation of Kenya’s education system but also undermines young graduates’ confidence in the job market.
“We want to combat corruption, and corruption includes not only the theft of public funds but also the theft of degrees awarded to unqualified individuals,” the President said.
President Kenyatta emphasized that it should be the primary responsibility of university administrations to ensure that only diligent students receive certificates for their efforts.
“Our universities should be open, not just to people from our backyard but to all Kenyans and indeed even to international students,” the President said.
The President also spoke out against ethnicity in higher education, saying that students should come from all over the country to promote national integration and cohesion.
He also urged higher education institutions to innovate in order to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive global market.
President Kenyatta said Knowledge and innovation are increasingly becoming key differentiators in determining success in today’s world.
It is for this reason that our investment in university education has been targeted to enhance access to relevant and marketable courses that will herald a new era of innovation; thereby propelling our country to higher levels of economic and social development,” the President said.
President Kenyatta also stated that his administration is committed to transforming Kenya’s education landscape by implementing various programs and projects to increase transition rates and provide Kenyan students with a competitive advantage in the global market.
President said that during his administration’s tenure, more than Ksh.4 trillion was allocated to the sector to fund primary, secondary, and university education, the Teachers Service Commission, and Vocational and Technical Training.
As a result, President Kenyatta stated that the number of tertiary institutions has increased from 52 in 2013 to 238 today, a 435 percent increase.
“We have not only done this by giving institutions full autonomy, as we are doing here today but also by selecting a few specialized institutions to address matters of national importance such as we did with the National Defence University,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta stated that the education sector is undergoing transformation, citing the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
“Through the Competency-Based Education that is now underway in the lower levels, we are permitting our young learners to determine from an early stage their area of specialization,” President Kenyatta said.
Prof. George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary for Education, congratulated President Kenyatta on his commitment to improving and transforming the education sector over the last decade.
He cited the President’s assistance in ensuring a complete transition from primary to secondary school, as well as expanded access to secondary and tertiary education, which has resulted in the establishment of 15 public and eight private universities in the country.
Other senior government officials who attended the event included Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, and Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo.