Kisii Varsity gets thumbs up, holds 9th graduation ceremony

Principal Secretary in charge of University Education and Research, Dr. Amb. Simon Nabukwesi speaking during the university’s 9th graduation ceremony on September 3, 2021. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Education CS Prof George Magoha has asked Kenyan universities to continually invest in communication and technology so as to remain competitive globally.

Prof Magoha singled out Kisii University, whose administration has embraced the use of information technology in teaching, research, examination administration, crucial meetings and ceremonies, thus managing to counter total paralysis of activities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, during the university’s 9th graduation ceremony on Friday whose majority of participants followed virtually, Prof Magoha also said the online platform was timely and in line with world trends.

“It has enabled our institutions of higher learning to compete with similar institutions throughout the world, in terms of relevance and sustainability of their programmes and other activities,” Prof Magoha said.

The CS noted that to prepare talent needed for the digital economy, education must adapt fast to the demand for ICT skills needed in the highly changing world.

Kisii University has achieved this goal through the establishment of an Ultra-modern ICT Learning and Business Centre.

Dr. Nabukwesi emphasized that through research and innovation, universities provide the foundation and impetus necessary for transformation.

“Universities train high level graduates who are not only ready for immediate absorption into a technologically oriented economy but also well-grounded to be fully functional in an ever-changing work environment,” Dr. Nabukwesi said.

He said the ministry was happy that the university had taken advantage of technology to run its activities in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic whose retreat is not on sight yet.

Kisii University is ranked highly in terms of research and community extension services while the country has been a leader in the region in terms of education, manufacturing, and investment in science and technology.

The Kisii University Scout Band gets ready to lead the Academic Procession during the Kisii University 9th Graduation ceremony on Friday. PHOTO/ Nyang’au Araka, The Scholar Media Africa.

“We must continue providing technological and research leadership in the region and beyond, but more specifically we should come up with real solutions for complex challenges facing Kenyans in their every life,” Dr. Nabukwesi said.

“Remember that universities cannot remain as ivory towers and purport to be solving societal problems.”

The PS in charge of University Education and Research asked the country’s educated youth to lead the way in the national struggle against all forces that threaten the wellbeing of Kenyans.

He said the university was on the right side of history due to its sober, focused and forward-looking leadership.

Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof John Akama noted that as much as the university’s academic calendar was seriously affected, due to the closure of the institution early last year due to the spread of Covid-19, the graduates persevered and managed to refocus their energy on attending lessons and doing exams virtually.

“That is why even in the middle of the pandemic, we have been able to graduate 1369 graduates. Indeed, this is not a mean achievement,” Prof. Akama said.

The graduates included 15 doctorate and 24 Masters Degrees.

They were drawn from the School of Law, School of Business and Economics, School of Agriculture, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, School of Information, Science and Technology, School of Pure and Applied Sciences and the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Prof Akama said the Senate, University Council and staff were alive to the changing trends in training and a highly competitive market, and were aligning training to stay afloat.

“Our graduands are clearly distinguishable in the job market as having relevant skills, knowledge and competencies in their various fields of training,” he said.

He admitted that the job market has been shrinking in recent years in the country but hastened to add that the kind of training offered at the university makes students competitive beyond Kenya.

“The training you have received is universal in nature and as we release you to the broader world, you have got to know that by virtue of your training, you are global citizens and the world is there for you to conquer,” Prof Akama told the 1369 graduates.

“Broaden your horizons beyond Kenya and seek for possibilities of going for further studies overseas, and also looking for possible employment opportunities in other parts of the world.”

Kisii University is among the nascent universities that obtained charters during President Mwai Kibaki’s time but has recorded tremendous progress over time.

In the latest intake, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) allocated Kisii University over 4600 students.

The University Senate, Dr Mildred Mudany who doubles as the Acting Chancellor noted that universities must become the main vehicle for Africa’s development in the new century.

The ICT and Business Incubation Centre at Kisii University. PHOTO/Nyang’au Araka, The Scholar Media Africa.

“They can help develop African expertise; they can enhance the analysis of African problems; strengthen domestic institutions; serve as a model environment for the practice of good governance, conflict resolution and respect for human rights, and enable African academics to play an active part in the global community of scholars,” Dr Mudany said.

She noted that Kisii University has been making a huge contribution in the teaching and research frontier.

“The institution has over the years attracted Carnegie scholars whose contribution towards the achievement of the university core mandate cannot be over-emphasized,” Dr Mudany said.

“This is a giant step in the right direction and in making Kisii University a world class institution of higher learning.”

Over time, the prowess of graduates from the university particularly in the School of Law has shone in Kenya and beyond.

Recently, a former student, Mr. Seth Anunda was the best performer at the Loyola University in USA.

“Kisii University students have been the best in performance at the Kenya School of Law for four consecutive years,” Dr Mudany added.

“I am also optimistic that the completion of the phase II of the ICT Learning and Business Centre will enable Kisii University to produce technological experts employable in the upcoming Konza techno-city as experts in ICT related fields,” she said.

The ceremony was also graced by other guests including Infrastructure Administrative Secretary (CAS) Chris Obure who asked the graduates to stay focused in their careers and carry the name of the university high.

He said the fact that the graduation ceremony was being held on a virtual platform was an indication that going forward, many activities will be done virtually and urged graduates to adjust themselves accordingly.

Obure exuded confidence that the university was on the right path and needs support from all stakeholders to prosper even more.


Kisii University VC Prof. John Akama addressing the congregation during the graduation ceremony. PHOTO/Courtesy.
Kisii University Council Chair Dr. Mildred Mudany confers PhD to a graduand during the graduation ceremony. PHOTO/Courtesy.
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Mr. Araka is the pioneer reporter and editor at The Scholar. His satirical segment, The Idler's Corner is very popular with our readers. He is also a published novelist and biographer.


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