By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
Private universities have asked the government to vet all the international examination bodies and agencies to ensure quality education.
They said some of the foreign agencies are accredited in their home countries yet they have been allowed to examine and qualify students in the Kenya.
The details emerged on Friday during a stakeholders meeting in Naivasha to discuss Universities Bill among other education Bills and policies before they are presented to cabinet and parliament for debate.
The Secretary General of National Association of Private Universities in Kenya (Napuk), Vincent Gaitho, said there is need to scrutinize and regulate the examiners for the sake of quality education.
The concern came, as it emerged that time is closing in bogus colleges that dupe gullible learners by awarding substandard certificate and diploma papers.
Under the new proposal in the Kenya Qualifications Framework, no public or private institution shall be allowed to offer any qualification that is not authorised by a central qualifications agency.
This is because currently, there is multiplicity of competency bodies in Kenya dealing with qualifications obtained from public sector institutions at different levels.
For instance, Commission for Higher Education, Kenya National Examination Council, University Senates, Councils and Boards of Management of authorized institutions all deal with qualifications.
Also, various private institutions and professional bodies offer international or their own qualifications following uncoordinated standards.
Gaitho said once enacted, sanity will be restored and examinations offered to Kenyan students will be quality and relevant to the market.
“We also want the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tivet) Bill because it will regulate and check if the kind of training offered are quality,” he said.
But these concerns will be a thing of the past once the proposed Bill becomes law, as all qualifications in the country will be coordinated by a central agency to be called the Kenya Qualifications Authority.
Director of Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance, N Gakungu said yesterday that the authority established under the Bill will be the common regulatory system for development, evaluation and issuance of qualifications in Kenya. Currently, the KQF is neither documented nor coordinated.
He said once it becomes law, the framework will enhance regulation and systematise the accreditation of educational programmes, assessment of learning outcomes, recognition of prior learning and skills, credit accumulation and transfer.
Higher education science and technology secretary Prof Harry Kaane said the Bill aims at ensuring sanity in all qualifications in the country.
“This is going to eliminate the many colleges that offer three months certificate and diploma papers in the country,” he said.
“We are introducing this in the country for the first time and we hope that once it becomes law we shall ensure quality at all levels of education in the country,” he added.
Members of parliament also wanted that the number of years students spend in universities be reduced to three. The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on education David Koech said the four years spend in universities is also costly to the parents and guardians.
The legislators also said that universities should not be allowed to takeover tertiary colleges as their campuses.