By Andrew Ombuni
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology will establish a skills-based centre at the institution at a cost of Sh300 million.
Dubbed Global Centre for Transformative Education, the centre aims at nurturing and molding students for the job market upon graduating.
Judith Achoka, the director of research and postgraduate support at MMUST said the new development was agreed upon during the First World Conference on Transformative Education held at the university.
She said the centre will see governments, with the help of scholars, globally, develop competence-based curriculum, aimed at developing students capabilities in solving problems as opposed to feeding them with theory work that cannot help them in the job market.
Ball State University (US), Global Institute of Transformative Education (GITE), the School Project Foundation (US), which runs education through projects, the Bay and Paul Foundations and Southern Oregon University will play a key role in setting up the centre.
Local universities in the partnership deal are Maseno, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, The University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University, and Alupe University College.
Judah Ndiku, the MMUST’s School of Education executive dean said the current education system has failed to address the challenges facing the society.
“The centre will look for resources to re-train lecturers, primary and secondary school teachers and all stakeholders in academia. The centre will provide curricular and instructional development to teachers, students, researchers and community at large for posterity,” said Dr Ndiku.
Ndiku said they also train Boards of Management (BOM) members and Universities Council’s in the management of their schools so as to get rid of unrests in learning institutions.
Prof Winnie Mucherah from Ball State University- USA said scholars will write proposals seeking funds to finance research projects in learning institutions across the African continent, saying, the move will help to move from conventional education system to adaptive learning.
“We will push for African governments to buy into the idea and fund it since it’s sustainable,” Ms Mucherah said.
She added “The centre will focus on boosting computer and technological competency, teach critical thinking skills, promote educational and cultural exchange programs and inculcate transformative leadership skills to learners for development of their countries,”.
Mr Wilson Sossion, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Secretary General, said Transformative Education was the gateway to achieving Kenya’s Vision 2030 as it reorients the society towards sustainable development.
Mr Sossion said Transformative Education will improve the quality of education the country and requires government support.
“To achieve this, teachers and educators should be empowered, get good training and be well funded to work effectively,” said Sossion.
He said he will table a motion in Parliament seeking to compel the government to increase funding to the university sector for research saying the 0.7 per cent of the country’s GDP is not enough.
MMUST Vice Chancellor Prof Fredrick Otieno asked governments to align its programs in academic and research in the universities saying quality education is the pathway to socio-economic and political transformation of the African Continent.