The Ministry of Education, has assured public universities across the country of continued support that would ensure requisite training quality is attained for the benefit of the country’s economy.
In his speech during the 9th graduation ceremony of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) read by Fred Ndambuki, Education CS Prof George Magoha said that the quality of teaching, learning and research at the institutions of higher learning were a great determinant of quality of personnel who enter the job market.
Magoha said, the universities must endeavor to meet the set standards of quality to guarantee local competitiveness and to deliver high caliber personnel to boost the economy.
The Education CS urged the universities to remain focused on the relevance of the courses offered, by undertaking regular review of training curriculum through consultation to ensure it meets the needs of the industry.
He observed that there is a growing demand for specialized competencies, and the need for professional upgrading in the country which are prerequisites for a knowledge based economy that the universities must be ready to meet.
Magoha stated that in order for the government to achieve the objectives of post-secondary training; universities must implement the practical components of their courses to address the knowledge-skills gap that exists in the job market.
To address the perennial funding challenges experienced by public institutions of higher learning, Magoha asked the universities to aim at specialization and deliberately invest in programmes that attract external funding rather than duplication of courses.
He also asked the tertiary institutions to streamline their academic programmes and make use of available resources to mitigate funding gaps.
The CS disclosed that the government has set aside research funds through the National Research Fund (NRF) for the academic staff in universities and encouraged the universities to tap in the NRF resources to support the governments’ Big Four Agenda, Vision 2030 and global sustainable goals.
Magoha stated that the government has attached a lot of importance on research and innovation adding that science and technology have been identified as the key drivers that would spur the nation to desired levels and therefore universities have been asked the integrate the same in their programmes.
While congratulating the management of JOOUST for increasing its research portfolio where it recently won Sh10billion for research from the Flemish Institute in Belgium, the CS assured that the government would avail funds for the completion of research center, library and tuition and administration blocks which have been on-going at the institution.
He further hailed JOOUST for being among the few institutions in the country with up-to-date financial records and encouraged the management to continue with the prudent management of resources from both the government and donor agencies.
“I am proud to note that JOOUST is among the few universities who practices prudent management of resource with an up-to-date statutory deduction record. We have witnessed a lot of challenges in financial management in most of our universities,” said Magoha.
The graduation which was conducted online with only doctorial grandaunts attending physically was graced by the JOOUST chancellor Dr Jonah Kagogo, Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Agong’, and university council chair Joyce Karinge who all urged the graduates to provide solutions to global problems.
By Brian Ondeng’