FRED MATIANGI: I AM TURNING MY EYE ON UNIVERSITIES AND WILL CLEAN...

FRED MATIANGI: I AM TURNING MY EYE ON UNIVERSITIES AND WILL CLEAN UP MESS

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Fred Matiangi at Muranga county

After excelling in both Primary and secondary education clean up,CS Fred Matiangi has turned his eye on universities after public outcry. There is no doubt universities have various problems and this is chance to restore sanity in various institutions of higher learning. Here is summary of problems in Kenyan universities Matiangi is aiming to look at.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi, has revealed that the government will implement the differentiated unit cost model of funding universities beginning the next financial year.The model will see students pay fees based on actual cost of running the courses they undertake compared to current system where government pays harmonized rates for state-sponsored students. Coming after government stopped further registration of new universities, Dr. Matiangi said the move is aimed at strengthening and transforming existing universities into globally competitive institutions.

Another issue Fred Matiangi will be look is quality at Kenyan universities. The World Bank has raised concerns on the quality of graduates being produced by universities and colleges in Kenya.The bank observes that the country’s education system is failing to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills crucial for Vision 2030, in its report dated September 2015.Today, government funding for Kenya’s 33 public universities continues to decline. The average per capita expenditure per student has also fallen tremendously. This funding crunch obviously has a detrimental effect on quality, which manifests in poorly trained academic staff, inadequate libraries, overcrowded classrooms – there are sometimes as many as 400 students in a single class – and low-quality graduates.

Fred Matiang’i has also directed universities and constituent colleges to capture biometric data of all students.Under the new directive through the Commission of University Education, institutions of higher learning will be required to obtain passport photographs, programmes and the year of study for every student

Fred matiangi will look to close down university courses that have not been accredited. The report comes in the wake of the suspension of a number of courses by professional bodies, such as the Council of Legal Education and Engineers Board.Several law and engineering courses have been suspended due to the failure by universities to observe minimum requirements in offering them.The report cites the newly established or rebranded institutions at the Ministry of Education that are not fully functional, thus limiting their daily operations and effectiveness.

Fred Matiangi will also look at embezzlement of university funds by top staff by demanding thorough audit of all Kenyan University accounts.The financial mess at Moi University, perhaps one of the most poorly managed higher education institutions in Kenya today, was threatening to curtail graduation as final year students await helplessly to be assessed months after going for industrial attachments.The main problem, according to sources, is that Moi is being looted massively. The university may be losing as much as sh50 million weekly through internal non-essential activities often organized by top management where ‘per diem’ and other cash payments can run into a million shillings in allowances daily.

Fred Matiangi will also look at stopping fake degrees and certificateThe rot in higher learning institutions that engage in academic malpractices can now be revealed.From selling certificates to “cleaning” of degrees, the institutions are riddled with corruption and greed.Investigations led us to a number of them, which were ready to dish out certificates without requiring one to step into a classroom.For as little as Sh3,000, students are given certificates without setting foot in class. Even Standard Six drop-outs have found their way into these institutions.Recent data indicate that almost half of the graduates from Kenyan universities and colleges are half-baked for the job market.

Well will Fred Matiangi yet again restore sanity in higher institutions of learning ??We we shall see.

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