Institutions of higher learning have been challenged to concentrate more on research and innovation in order to satisfy the current market demand.
Former Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof Olive Mugenda, noted that Kenya needs more graduates in technical fields and other specialised disciplines in order to serve the country adequately, particularly in the realisation of of its ambitious development agenda.
Prof. Mugenda made the remarks Friday during the 67th graduation ceremony of the Thogoto Teachers Training College in Kikuyu, Kiambu County.
537 graduands were commissioned among them 303 PI teachers and 214 Early Childhood Development Education Teachers.
Prof. Mugenda said colleges and other tertiary institutions need to embrace curriculum that is compatible with the ever changing social and economic environment so as to adequately prepare students for the job market and the contemporary societal needs.
The Don regretted that many graduates from local universities and colleges continue to toil and suffer after they finish their studies with some of them accepting demeaning jobs for which they were not trained while others lose hope in life and sink into a life of destitution and hopelessness.
Prof. Mugenda advised graduands and the youth in general to maximize their potential in the management and strengthening of their emotional intelligence in order to survive in the present competitive environment.
The Former VC urged them to set good examples in the society by carrying themselves with dignity and confidence.
“Emotional Intelligence will always tell a lot about you, guides you in what to say and do. Carry yourselves with dignity and be of excellent example to others in the community by sticking to acceptable morals,” she advised.
Prof. Mugenda at the same time urged them not to backslide in their quest for spiritual life and intervention but to always seek divine guidance in their endeavors and aspirations.
“Put God ahead in all what you do and aspire to accomplish; Prov. 9: 11, the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge and understanding, you can plan for your life but without God blessing, it becomes difficult to fully realize your dreams,” she said.
The University Don described the teaching profession as a calling and urged the graduands to utilize their acquired skills and opportunities to not only improve their lives and those of their families but also the society and the country at large.
She urged the new teachers to be assertive and confident in their endeavor in order to succeed in an ever dynamic and competitive environment.
Prof. Mugenda asked the graduands to brace themselves for the challenges outside college life, urging them to always be cautious of their mental health.
“ Address the challenges as they come and as an educated person, build positive attitude in life, challenges come and disappear, there is good times and bad times too but always be proactive and courageous in order to overcome,” she added.
She lauded the effort made by the parents and the guardians of the graduands to see them through and ensuring they succeed by completing their studies.
The former VC encouraged students to always look out in the future and work towards achieving their best so that they play their part too when they join their senior members of the community in nation building.
The Chairman, Board of Management, Eng. Kamuyu Kahenya, commended all stakeholders, particularly the college staff and students for their contributions towards the success of the institution.
Eng. Kahenya noted that for the past 67 years, the college has produced many graduates who have nurtured a number of Kenyans currently serving in various capacities locally and internationally.
“We have grown overtime and we are proud to be associated with the many successes of our graduands, some of them are even teaching or serving in various sectors of the economy in Rwanda, Somalia and several southern Africa states,” he noted.
The College Chief Principal, Mrs. Margaret Khainga thanked the government, sponsors, parents and other stakeholders for their role in the success of the institution both in academic and infrastructural development.
She assured that the college will continue to progress not only in academics but also in the holistic development of the country’s youth as well as identifying their full potential through co-curriculum activities where talents such as sports would be identified and nurtured.
By Lang’at Edwins