Universities have been challenged to start realigning their academic programmes to the requirements of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) being implemented in the country.
University Education and Research Principal Secretary (PS) Simon Nabukwesi said universities should move with speed to review their curriculum and reorient them from knowledge based to competency based.
Speaking during Mt Kenya University’s (MKU) 20th graduation ceremony, the PS said re-organization of academic schools, faculties and departments and their staff will become necessary so as not to be caught unawares.
“Universities are likely to be caught unawares and unprepared unless they move with speed to review their curriculum and reorient their staff on competency based programmes before students who are already following the new curriculum join universities,” he said.
Also needing a review is the funding models of universities as the CBC will rely heavily on research, he said. He called on universities to become innovative to increase revenue streams in order to be stable financially.
He at the same time said teachers taking learners through CBC will be required to go back to school for refresher courses.
MKU is among four universities that signed contracts with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to offer in-service training for the tutors under the Teacher Professional Development Programme that aims at aligning training to global trends.
“CBC is implemented all over the world in developed economies. Kenyans love debating about almost everything even when some of them are totally ignorant. I want to encourage all educators to sensitize members of the public so that they accept the new system of education that will assist this country build capacity more rapidly than the system that we were in,” he said.
The PS at the same time called on Universities to offer programmes that are relevant to the job market.
He said disconnect between graduates’ skills and job market demands is to blame for lack of jobs among graduates.
He said the Ministry is coming up with a policy on University industry collaboration so that university students can know what exists in the industry and get opportunities for attachment.
“Universities should strictly adhere to the laid down quality assurance structures and carry out regular reviews of the academic programmes to ensure they are in line with market demands. The link between demands of industry and university programmes has since been found to be wanting,” he said.
By Muoki Charles