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Varsities badly need Dr. Fred Matiang'i's broom

By The Standard | Updated Tue, January 3rd 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i.(Photo: Pius Cheruiyot/Standard)

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i's bold and timely steps to reform the sector seem have paid off.

Kenyans have lauded his efforts to streamline the management of the sector and administration of examinations. Under his watch, there were no 'doctored' results in 2016. The year was also devoid of artificial academic gaps created by fake grades.

The CS has now turned his sights on the universities, which have been mired in rot. Most universities in the country stand accused of sacrificing quality of learning at the altar of cash, and mortar-and-brick projects.

This has resulted in mushrooming of satellite campuses everywhere. Some of them are located in buildings not even fit for habitation and have no libraries and other basic facilities.

Most lack enough lecturers and the few who are there are either not qualified or motivated to serve. Some offer courses in areas where they cannot claim expertise.

Some don't follow the laid-down quality requirements and have been known to admit students who do not meet the required entry requirements. The CS revealed a case where 300 students graduated yet they had no records at the university. Nobody knows when they enrolled and what they were doing in the institution.

The sorry state of the country's universities has resulted in cases of academic fraud and graduates who are found wanting in the job market. The World Bank, in a report dubbed 'Kenya's Education Achievement and Challenges', raised concern over the quality of graduates from our universities and colleges.

In the report dated September 2015, the bank observed that the country's education system was incapable of producing graduates with the knowledge and skills crucial for Vision 2030.

Cases of professorship and doctorate degrees being awarded on considerations other than academic are common. It is in light of this that Dr Matiang'i's call for far-reaching reforms should be supported by all. We need to restore credibility at all levels of the education system.



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