Egerton University Senate has rolled out an essay writing competition for its students to be held during the 2022/2023 Academic Year.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage said the competition that would be open for all categories of students seeks to sharpen their creative writing and thinking skills.
Over 20,000 students were expected to participate in the contest that runs until September 2023.
Addressing university staff and students at the Njoro Main Campus’ Kilimo hall during orientation of first year students, Prof. Kibwage stated the essays would be centered on diverse topics including engineering, environmental management and conservation, food safety and nutrition, agribusiness and economics, arts and culture, scientific innovations, medicine and climate change among others.
According to the Vice Chancellor, a panel of judges composed of University lecturers and professors would review the entries and select an initial shortlist for further assessment.
Five finalists will emerge at the end of the exercise and they will be rewarded with Sh50, 000, Sh40, 000, Sh30, 000, Sh20, 000 and Sh10, 000 respectively.
“He added, “Creative writing is one way of helping students understand the world we live in by giving them a voice to express their ideas and thoughts, a platform to explore their talents and imagine limitless life’s possibilities, even during tough times. We aspire through this competition, to inspire our students to recreate the world they live in through written expression. This is not just a writing competition but also an opportunity for participants to share their ideas and personal journeys with the world.”
Prof. Kibwage was flanked by Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Planning and Development Professor Richard Mulwa, Principal, Nakuru Town Campus College Prof. Joshua Ogendo and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Professor Bernard Aduda.
He noted that the world was transiting to teaching learners to be all-rounded characters especially in their areas of God-given talents.
“The contest will not only strengthen the value of accumulating knowledge to improve writing skills and creative thinking, but also earn participants recognition beyond the lecture halls. We want more female students to be part of this because the competition is not just about essay writing. It’s also a learning experience that helps one build their self- esteem and confidence,” Prof. Kibwage indicated.
Prof. Mulwa pointed out that students should embrace peaceful ways of putting forward their grievances.
Students, the Deputy Vice Chancellor added, were expected to be law-abiding and uphold national values such as peace, respect or even love. Violent conduct to express frustrations he said is unpatriotic.
Prof. Mulwa affirmed that students should use dialogue and other alternative dispute resolution techniques and move away from violent tendencies to get their issues addressed.
According to Prof. Ogendo, students who join the university must demonstrate a high degree of discipline and hard work and be ready to be guided by the institution’s values of peace, integrity, equality and simplicity.
“Our staff takes great pride in providing a safe and secure learning environment while at the same time offering an array of exciting and challenging academic programmes. Our entire staff is committed to establishing an environment that allows students to flourish and to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially,” Prof. Ogendo said.
The Nakuru Town Campus College Principal further stated that the University’s mission was to create and sustain an enabling environment for one to identify and nurture talent by focusing on both academic and extracurricular activities.
“Our institution offers a secure and caring environment where there is equal opportunity for each student to realize their potential and our greatest pride is to see that when our students leave the institution after completing their academic programs, they join the larger society as honest, responsible, hardworking and patriotic citizens,” he said.
He added, “Doing the right thing at the right time and at the right place sums up self-discipline. It is this self-discipline that will enable individual student shine academically and in co-curricular activities.”
Prof. Aduda advised the students to ensure they follow the university rules saying, “Though there are no bells around you, time management is key, attendance of lectures and taking exams seriously. If you fail, you will have to resit and sometimes we terminate students who cannot perform. I hope we shall finish together at the end of your stay here.”
He revealed that the University had launched the Parents’ Guardians’ and Sponsors’ Portal recently to enable them access information on the students’ portal and monitor their academic progress at the University.
“During your registration, your parents were also requested to register and now we have over 4325 parents’ details and their contact details. In due course they will be accessing your academic, financial, and living life on campus,” he stated.
By Anne Mwale and Racheal Wangare