More than 3,000 graduate engineers locked out of registration have until end of this month to make fresh application in a new government move aimed at ending a crisis that has lasted years.
It follows a decision by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) to issue a 60-day notice to unregistered engineers to apply for the exercise.
The ambitious move is meant to streamline the engineers’ accreditation system in line with a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The two-month registration window largely covers engineering students who graduated five years ago. In a call for application notice, EBK is keen on averting another legal tussle over quality of graduates by seeking to accredit students who graduated before September 14, 2013, a period before the Engineers Act 2011 became effective.
“The board has called on all persons holding an engineering degree dating to the Engineers Registration Board days to submit their applications within 60 days from the date hereof,” said the board.
Lack of a clear direction on whose mandate it was to oversee quality graduates churned to the market had previously locked the board (previously Engineers Registration Board) in a court dispute with old students from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and Egerton University.
In the long-drawn court dispute, the students sued the board for refusing to recognise their degrees as adequate for practice.
ERB pointed out that training offered in the two institutions was wanting. In 2012, the High Court ruled in favour of the students and instructed the Board to register them.
The High Court determined that the ERB did not have powers to accredit programmes. The Court of Appeal ruled that the ERB acted within its mandate and that the universities were at fault for not addressing the concerns raised by the board on the quality of the programmes.
The students moved to the Supreme Court which, in a majority decision, set aside the Court of Appeal ruling and reinstated the High Court decision. The board was compelled to register all the petitioners as directed by the Supreme Court.