Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has challenged institutions of higher learning to embark on research and innovations that will help the country deal with some social and economic problems.
Speaking at Murang’a University of Technology, the CS observed that some bottlenecks in life like food insecurity, health, shortage of housing and industrialization among others can be solved if universities can actively engage in research.
He noted that at this time, the country could not be importing some items if innovation is given first priority in institutions of higher learning.
“It is time to change the way of doing things. Universities should be at the forefront in championing research and innovation. This will help the government deal with some problems.”
“Some parts of the country are experiencing food shortage and a place like Murang’a is good for agriculture. The local university can embark on promoting research that will see the county produce more food to be sold in other areas,” added the CS.
Murang’a University, he said, should support local farmers to produce more food and at less cost, wondering why food produced locally is more expensive than the one being imported.
“Universities should change the way of doing things and this can be attained through research and innovations. The country is importing many things which can be produced locally but our graduates are just out looking for white-collar jobs.” he stated.
Magoha spoke when he launched a three-day international conference on Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development.
He further told universities not only to rely on funds given by the government telling them to source funds for research from international organizations.
“There is no amount of money which is enough. Let universities write research proposals and compete for funding from international organizations and this will see progress in our institutions,” he added.
Magoha observed that the classrooms being constructed by the government should not cost a lot of money since the materials and contractors are sourced locally.
“Misappropriation of funds should be stopped in the public sector. How a classroom can cost more than Sh1.5 million. A classroom should not be constructed at not more than Sh500, 000.” He posed.
Meanwhile, the CS clarified that the midterm which the government announced on Tuesday is not for only secondary students but to all learners including those in primary schools.
“From the circular issued by the Education Principal Secretary, it indicated only secondary students were the ones to proceed for mid-term but the break is for all learners in both secondary and primary schools,” clarified the CS.
By Bernard Munyao and Purity Mugo