University students have been told to take advantage of digital space to work online and earn money outside their class hours.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) Vice Chancellor, Prof Stephen Agong said the existing digital space has opened up unlimited opportunities for students to earn money which they could invest in furthering their careers.
Speaking during the orientation of over 1300 first years that joined the institution this month, Prof Agong said that instead of engaging in socially unproductive activities which could derail their academic lives, the student should instead work online to gain valuable experience and earn money to support them while in school.
Prof Agong revealed that currently, the government through the Ministry of ICT runs the Ajira Digital Programme, a platform that has provided online jobs for Kenyan youths earning between Sh20, 000 to Sh700, 000 per month
“With digital space in place, our students need to use their free time wisely to earn money by working online. We have so many youths earning good money online and provided our students have something to offer they can make good money to further their careers,” Prof Agong said.
He disclosed that as an institution, JOOUST has availed the necessary infrastructure in terms of steady WiFi, training and hardware that would help students tap into the digital space.
“For those staying within the campus, we have our WiFi services throughout while those that stay outside the campus we have arrangement with mobile network providers where they can buy bundles at affordable rates to surf the net,” the university don said.
The first year orientation which was themed ‘Road map towards navigating a disruptive educational space’ was also designed to psychologically prepare the first years joining the institution of any possible disruption like the 2019 COVID outbreak.
Prof Agong stated that both the students and the institution needed to be ready for any possible disruption and build resilience that would help overcome the challenges thrown at them.
“In 2020, our academic year was disrupted significantly by the outbreak of global pandemic and we had to overcome the challenges through virtual learning. Next year, we are faced with political campaigns and elections which can be fairly disruptive so we have to build resilience in anticipation of any disruption,” Prof Agong noted.
He said that the institution would continue using blended mode of delivering lectures even through face to face classes resumed early this year.
“We will continue to use our virtual classes wherever necessary because of the numerous advantages but we will use face to face classes to deliver science courses which require practical involvement of the students as we seek to build resilience,” he said.
By Brian Ondeng