Education Cabinet Secretary, Amb. Amina Mohammed has today inaugurated the inter-ministerial committee on university education reforms task force, which is to come up with solution to the ongoing public university lecturers’ strike and review the provision of higher education in public universities.
The committee has been given one month as a matter of priority to determine a counter-offer for the 2017/2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and to submit a Report within two weeks after the expiry of that period.
The inter-ministerial committee will help in reviewing adequacy of capitation, human resource management policies, general security situation, and student enrollment for undergraduate and graduate programs in public universities as captured in the committee’s terms of reference.
Speaking at her Jogoo House office, Amb. Amina said the time has come to restore quality of learning in public universities, but because of human interaction most of these decisions are unpopular.
Our university sector has experienced consistent teaching and learning disruptions owing to strikes in 1993.There is a very high probability that most young professionals in Kenya have experienced that disruption in the course of their university education, said Amina.
The CS noted the image of university education worldwide is taking a severe beating with students taking more than double the period required to complete academic programmes and employers losing faith in the capacity of graduates.
The CS also queried the quality of graduate programmes which the country relies on to build capacity of staff to teach in Universities, citing it as at the lowest possible standard.
Because of this, she reiterated that she has recently put in place a policy that 70 percent of the PhD scholarships Kenya receives will go to applicants who will mandatorily get back to teach in the public Universities
The committee will be inclusive of Principal Secretaries from ministry of National Treasury, Public Service and Youth affairs and Interior, together with Institute of Human Resource Management, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Retirement Benefits Authority.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretary has instructed Regional Coordinators of Education and County Directors of Education to conduct a quick assessment on the impact of rains on schools, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) and public universities in their respective regions before schools re-open for the second term.
The officers should advise the Ministry on areas where the rains may drastically affect the opening of schools or the learning process in the higher education sector with a view to forestalling any crises, Amb Amina .
The Education CS set the task force 50 days into an industrial action in public Universities, the third strike in less than one year at the Universities.
Source: Kenya News Agency