BUDALANGI KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY DREAM ON TRACK WITH MMUST CAMPUS AND SANGO TTC
By Fedelis Okaroni
| November 15th 2016
Only a few years ago, Budalang’i was best known worldwide as the land of floods, defined by perennial suffering. Not anymore. The risk of flooding has been rolled back considerably, while amazing infrastructure projects such as the landmark Sigiri Bridge and tarmac roads now define the once forsaken landscape.
Without a doubt, this miraculous transformation of Budalangi is best illustrated by the swift growth of higher education in this land of waters. Riding on the transformational vision of "Knowledge Economy" that is at the heart of the historic Budalangi Strategic Plan (Revised 2013-2017); this vision is today riding on three ambitious projects:
The jewel in the crown is Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Budalangi Campus. Developed by CDF with additional support from the World Bank, the unique Campus is already offering degree and diploma courses in Disaster Management, Community Development and Education (both Arts and Sciences) under strict academic control by the Kakamega-based mother University.
Operations formally started in September, 2016 and the Campus already has 46 full-time and 21 part time students (total 67). According to the Campus Principal, Dr. Moses Akali, enrolment is continuous and indeed 30 more students have already applied for the School-based December programme. This one is particularly big news to local teachers, who have had to travel long distances and spent big in pursuit of their academic dreams. Not anymore!
The Campus already has some truly modern facilities, including two first class hostels, a tuition and admin complex and a multi-purpose hall. A state-of-the art library is under construction. Local business is already thriving on the back of the campus, giving real meaning to the "Knowledge Economy" concept.
A local investor is running a popular cafeteria within the Campus, while prominent Bunyala lawyer, Yufnalis Okubo, has also invested in a block of modern private hostels right next to the campus. This will supplement the in-house accommodation offered by the two hostels in the Campus. The year 2017 is set to see exponential growth of this campus. The goal is a full-fledged University in the next five years. Already a team of local academicians led by Prof. Paul Ogula, Prof. Silvery Otengi and Prof. Cajetan Syallow has been formed to drive this agenda. The team is scheduled to meet Hon Ababu-Namwamba next week. The area MP is the brains behind the University and the whole "Knowledge Economy" idea.
As the idea of a "Budalangi University" grows from dream to reality, other are also taking off.
Sango Teachers Training College (TTC) in the Lugale area of Southern Budalangi has already taken off as the first ever public TTC in Busia County. First mooted by the area MP in 2014, the TTC has already received 11 members of staff from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). The college, which will similarly fill a huge void in the whole County, is also being developed by CDF.
And to cap it all, the new Bunyala Technical Training Institute (BTTI) in Budebu village, Bunyala North Ward, is nearing completion and will be officially opened early in 2017, again courtesy of the Budalangi leadership.
The one time backwater land of floods is now a land transformed, and definitely becoming a center for higher learning. Knowledge Economy.
And with the Stirring ISAMBO Beach Carnival growing from strength to strength as a tourism magnet, things can only get better for the people of Budalangi.
Without a shadow of doubt, Budalangi has Risen.
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