Mount Kenya University Chairman Simon Gicharu (right) with ICC prosecutor Karim Khan during the 23rd graduation ceremony on August 4, 2023. [Gitau Wanyoike, Standard]

Mount Kenya University has waived school fees for more than 4,000 students, amounting to Sh80 million.

The university Chairman Simon Gicharu said the beneficiaries are those who were allowed to learn during the Covid-19 pandemic, then graduated but have never collected their certificates due to lack of money.

"The issue of uncollected certificates was worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to announce the waiver of all these fines. We have written off the Sh80 million, and all the past students can now come and collect their certificates without having to pay a cent," said Gicharu, who is also the university founder.

Gicharu made the remarks during the university's 23rd graduation ceremony in Thika yesterday.

He said the university would embrace education reforms, adding that the overhaul touches on increased productivity in research and innovation, improvement in university international rankings, exemption of university scholarly research and innovation levies.

The reforms are contained in the report by a task force led by Prof Raphael Munavu, which was presented to President William Ruto on Tuesday. The report contains a raft of recommendations aimed at reforming the education system from pre-primary to tertiary levels.

One of the key recommendations is the introduction of a programme modelled on the National Youth Service pre-university, a programme that collapsed in the 1980s.

The proposed programme will introduce a mandatory three-month community service for senior school graduates and a further nine-month community service upon completion of tertiary education, with the aim of embedding community-based learning.

Additionally, universities will be required to develop one-year retraining programmes for teachers in preparation for competency-based teacher education programmes.

During the graduation, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Law, for being a seasoned international criminal law and human rights lawyer, his community outreach, and his efforts in the fight against terrorism.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, who was the chief guest, allayed fear that private institutions will be affected by the education reforms.

Business
KenGen sets aside 300 hectares for green industrial park
Business
Premium Meru and Embu chew over fate of miraa, muguka after Coast ban
Business
Premium Too easy to tax: Why motorists are an easy target for Treasury
Business
Premium US, China set to compete over Kenya's crucial transport artery