Kenya: Make Virtual Learning More Efficient, Magoha Tells Varsities

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has challenged universities to allocate more resources to improve the efficiency of virtual learning by acquiring more electronic resources.

The CS said universities need to work with the Commission for University Education (CUE) and ensure that while engaging and teaching learners through virtual learning, standards are not compromised.

"The only challenge for institutions of higher learning is to make virtual learning more efficient and sustainable. There's a need to allocate more resources to improve the efficiency of virtual learning by way of bandwidth and acquisition of more electronic learning resources," said Prof Magoha in a speech read on his behalf by Chief Administrative Secretary Mumina Bonaya on Friday during a graduation ceremony at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK)

Prof Magoha noted that the Covid 19 pandemic was a wakeup call for learning institutions and thanked universities for swiftly shifting to virtual learning that kept learning ongoing despite the suspension of physical learning.

The CS said that although it was an expensive move, students bought computers and connected them to internet to make it possible for virtual learning.

Blended learning

The CUE has progressively been approving universities to ensure they meet the minimum requirements to offer blended learning.

Among the requirements for universities is to have relevant infrastructure, internet connectivity and relevant equipment to support online learning.

TUK Vice Chancellor Francis Aduol said the university has increased its investment in ICT infrastructure to support blended learning.

"The university, however, will have to find additional avenues to support the students to acquire access to internet wherever they may be," said Prof Aduol

The VC said the university council has been very crucial in lobbying for the necessary assistance for both operational and infrastructural resources.

Underfunding

The chairperson of the university council, Dr Halima Saado, said over the years, the TUK has suffered underfunding due to historical factors including its transition from Kenya Polytechnic to Kenya Polytechnic University College and later to the Technical University of Kenya.

She said the transition involved retaining all existing staff and diploma courses among others.

"The resource allocation to this institution ignored these issues yet they are very critical. Recruitment of necessary university-level staff resulted in a huge leap in the payroll expenditure," said Dr Saado.

Dr Saado asked the Ministry of Education to give the university more funding to match its requirements, saying it needs heavy investments in workshop equipment and laboratory teaching aids as well as in ICT.

Prof Magoha at the same asked graduates to use their skills for self-employment or alternative jobs that do not necessarily suit the courses they have done in universities.

Jobs

"Studies have found that roughly 60 per cent of recent college graduates are working in jobs that require a degree, yet only 25 per cent of college graduates are working in jobs that even relate to their major at university," he said.

The Cs said in the present times, certain jobs such as engineering, architecture and computer science require skills affiliated with degrees.

Prof Magoha advised graduates to be open to grab any opportunity that may come their way.

"By and large, your university degree is unlikely to have any bearing on your career success. Experts argue that the real world doesn't care about your degree as much as your work ethic and attitude," he said.

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