Eldoret — President Mwai Kibaki has urged Kenyans to rise up in unity and reject all perpetrators of hate and division in the country.
Expressing concern over reports that some people are using recent developments in technology such as social media to spread discord in the country, President Kibaki particularly called on the youth to guard against such vices.
"It is in your best interests to work towards a united and peaceful Kenya so that you can complete your studies and build a bright future for yourselves and your families," the president said.
The Head of State was speaking on Monday in Eldoret when he granted a charter to the University of Eldoret making it a fully-fledged public university.
The university is the successor of Chepkoilel University College, a constituent university college of Moi University since 2010.
President Kibaki reassured all institutions of higher learning in the country of the government's support towards realising their full potential.
He noted that the new Universities Act 2012 opens a new chapter in the history of higher and tertiary education in the country.
Said President Kibaki: "The Act has provided for a robust environment for the accreditation and quality assurance of university education in our country."
The president said the Act has further established a strengthened Commission for University Education mandated to ensure that relevant and high quality education is accessible to all qualified Kenyans.
"This will ensure that our higher education system produces high quality human capital that is required for the achievement of our national development goals," President Kibaki said.
He expressed delight that the University of Eldoret seeks to be a centre of excellence in the training of pure, applied and natural sciences, noting that these will go a long way in providing solutions to some of the development challenges facing the country.
In addition, the president observed that the University of Eldoret's focus on agriculture, biotechnology, natural resource management and forestry, offers it the opportunity to come up with innovative ways of modernizing the agricultural sector that is the backbone of the country's economy.
President Kibaki reiterated his call to institutions of higher learning to continuously benchmark with the best universities not only in the country but also regionally and globally.
"This is the only way you can ensure that you are a true centre of excellence, and indeed a world class university. This will also ensure the relevance and global competitiveness of your graduates," President Kibaki said.
He thanked and congratulated the community in Eldoret and all stakeholders who worked hard to transform the University of Eldoret from its humble beginnings to a fully-fledged public university.
The president especially commended Moi University for mentoring the institution over the last three years when it was its constituent college.
On her part, Higher Education Minister Margret Kamar challenged tertiary and institutions of higher learning to ensure a clear staff development policy in order to cope with the growth in the higher education sector.
The minister also emphasised that the expansion of technical and vocational training centres was of paramount important to cater for secondary school leavers who miss places in universities.
Kamar added that only a mere 10 percent of form four graduates are admitted in the universities annually, hence the need to increase higher education places.
The Minister said her Ministry has partnered with the Housing Finance company in a scholarship programme to ensure that one million school leavers are sponsored in the technical and vocational centres in the country for the next four years.
Speaking during the occasion, the Commission for University Education chairman Ezra Maritim noted that the university education in the country has undergone a tremendous transformation both in terms of increased institutions and enrolment that require continuous monitoring to ensure relevant and quality training is offered.
He noted that the commission has developed a capacity building programme for officers to carry out the monitoring in the universities.
During the occasion Judith Bahemuka was installed as the first Chancellor of University of Eldoret.
Source: Presidential Press Service