- Prof. Nathan Ogechi committed an all-round transformative leadership, engaging in meaningful and constructive consultations for the good of the University.
- The installation offered remarkable limelight for the University’s future as it taps into Prof. Ogechi’s rich management and decades-long experience.
- Speaking during the ceremony, CS Machogu asked local universities to stop relying on state funding, terming the practice a hindrance to innovation.
Jubilation and excitement rent the air at Kisii University during the twin celebration of the 12th graduation ceremony and the installation of a new Chancellor, with commitments to ensure the University attains a world-class status.
This year’s graduation ceremony themed Transformative, Education, Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development saw 3,011 graduands acquire new knowledge and skills.
After installation as the 2nd Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nathan Ogechi committed an all-round transformative leadership, engaging in meaningful and constructive consultations for the good of the University.
Prof. Ogechi was officially installed as the 2nd Vice Chancellor of Kisii University in a dance-rich, colourful function during the 12th Graduation Ceremony held at the Chancellor’s Pavilion within the Main Campus grounds in Kisii County on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.
The installation offered remarkable limelight for the University’s future as it taps into Prof. Ogechi’s rich management and decades-long experience.
Only minutes to mid-day, he was handed over the instruments of power: the University Mace, the University Seal, the University Logo, the University Charter and Statutes and the University Academic Programmes.
He was dedicated to serve in his role as the Vice Chancellor by Rev Paul Kiage of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in an occasion also attended by Education CS Ezekiel Machogu.
Path to excellence
“Kisii University has achieved milestones in the recent past. We have implemented our curriculum in 8 schools with dedicated lecturers who have taught, evaluated and offered practicum programs to our students even in the wake of logistical challenges.
We cannot thank them enough,” Prof. Ogechi acknowledged.
The Vice Chancellor noted the University’s engagement with the Commission of University Education (CUE) in identifying the academic needs in Health Services, that are enriched with other disciplines.
He said in 2029 the University will be receiving the first cohort of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) students, hence informing genuine conversation on Competency Based Education and Training (CBET).
“We have continued to build, collaborate, partner and network with organizations which offer practicum opportunities and retooling services to our lecturers.
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that includes Kisii University, Kibos International Health Foundation of Canada and Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) will enable the University and the Hospital to acquire a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory,” he said.
Through this venture, the VC says, highly trained cardiologists from Canada, Japan, India and Singapore will offer training and treatment of cardiovascular-related complications.
He added that through the Kenya United Kingdom Alliance (KUKA), the University Council (UC) has developed and approved a draft agreement and business plan which has been presented to the Attorney General (AG) for concurrence, to enable Manchester Adapted Curriculum in Medicine and Pharmacy in September 2024.
As the 2nd VC commended his predecessor Prof. John Akama for the exemplary 13 years of service, he thanked President Ruto for appointing him to the new role, undertaking to engage in cordial working relations that would not only meet but also exceed stakeholders’ expectations.
The installation of the new VC comes at a time the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) placed 8,670 and 650 students for Bachelor’s Degree and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) respectively, becoming the highest number among universities.
“We are setting the path towards actualizing a world class university. Kisii University has highly qualified teaching staff, gifted and talented students capable of completing their studies in time, modern laboratories for research and libraries,” said the VC.
Kisii University, he said, offers on-campus wi-fi hotspots to enable research and facilitate learning. He added the University provides over 100 competitive and market-driven programs, which are approved by the Commission for University Education and accredited by relevant regulatory bodies.
In September 2023, the VC announced the launching of a University City which would provide everything required for good life in the University.
“The University City will offer a hotel, a Television Room, a swimming pool, a gym, a cafeteria and a multipurpose hall. We are also exploring the possibility of a supermarket to serve all our students,” he announced.
Call to partnership
Speaking during the ceremony, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu asked local universities to stop relying on state funding, terming the practice a hindrance to innovation.
The CS said universities must rise to the occasion and contain the appetite for state funding in order to promote research.
He encouraged private-public partnerships, setting up innovative hubs and commercializing research as sure avenues of generating funds.
The CS congratulated the graduands for their remarkable achievement, the culmination of hard work, dedication and resilience.
He celebrated the University’s unwavering commitment and focus in instilling competencies and skills to its students.
“Universities need to be vibrant within the society they operate in to find solutions to the challenges affecting the people living there.
I urge for continual advancement of studies among graduates as an approach to tooling and retooling to enhance market relevance,” Machogu said.
In November 2023, the CS announced government’s plan to fund a 10,000-capacity hostel for the University to address the deficit of hostels and to ease the cost of rentals.
“After touring around the University, I have established the institution needs improved infrastructure in order to create a better learning experience for learners.
As a ministry, we must equip Kisii University with modern infrastructure to enhance the overall learner experience. A 10,000-capacity hostel is our agenda from January next year,” he added.
And in September 2023, at an Orientation Exercise for First Years, Dr. Joash Kerongo, Registrar Academics, called on students to live a successful life, free of recession and stress.
He challenged them to desist from the phenomenon of wanting everything fast and wanting to accomplish too much within a short time.
“Many have suffered due to such tendencies.
Many have married even before starting studies. Do not be a microwave, wanting to warm food that you never cooked. Never take a short cut in a bid to get rich quick. The haste will hit back,” Dr. Kerongo advised.
A drug-free society
Dr. Michael Mbiriri, Lecturer at the Psychology Department and a Coordinator, Hardcore Drug Abuse Sections, spent the Orientation Exercise moment to enlighten students on the categories of drugs.
He explained to the students the stages of drug abuse as drug free, experimental, social use, habitual and dependent stage.
“The causes of drug abuse include bad friends, curiosity, boredom, spiritual emptiness, availability of drugs, family influence and stress. As students, you must overcome these challenges.
The effects of drug and substance abuse are far reaching and come with consequences.
These effects include poor academic performance, low concentration level, financial difficulties, injuries and loss of self-esteem,” Dr. Mbiriri explained.
In order to address the problem of drug abuse, he said, students should attend counselling sessions, read books, avoid bad companies, desist from experimenting drugs and avoid boredom.
Dr. Rose Otieno, Chair of the Department of Psychology and Lecturer in the same Department, advised First Year Students to be strong about sexuality, take responsibility of their actions and never engage in behaviors degrading them.
“As students of the University of the 21st Century, you are expected to say no to negative influence, drug temptation, taking of illicit brews and being initiated to drug use.
Be cautious with invitations to parties since a Fanta drink can be laced with a lot of drugs. Imagine drugged, raped and life totally ruined,” Dr. Otieno noted.
She challenged the students to identify social support which is dependable, since every student is useful and the cream of the nation.
The students, according to her, should identify Christian groups since well grounded people on faith make informed decisions.
“Don’t buy into negative statements, insist on making positive ones. You’ll never visit anyone in hospital because they failed to have sex. Research shows young people grounded on faith are able to make decisions,” she urged.
Dr. Jacqueline Nyaanga, Medical Officer at Kisii University, urged the students to observe self-care and personal hygiene in order to enjoy their stay at the University.
The students, she stressed, should eat healthy foods and have enough sleep, in order to enhance their mental health and physical comfort.
Dr. Rhoda Auni, Career Coordinator at Kisii University, explained to the students the need to cultivate a team spirit and join professional clubs at the University.
She stressed that clubs help in networking, preparation of resume and accessing of job opportunities.
“It is not the name of the course but the person pursuing the course. Identify your talent and use it to secure opportunities. You can produce soap, sell vegetables and provide both manicure and pedicure services.
Don’t eat money, instead make money. It is out of talents that we make it in life. Clothes could give you a boutique and plaiting could give you a salon,” Dr. Auni expressed.
She asked students to be objective when making career choices asking them to source for information from google career paths, schools and role models. She said there is reason for any course because there is demand.
The Career Specialist called on students to create career stamina through engaging in short courses such as Certified Public Accounts (CPAs), Certificate in Actuarial Course, Life Skills courses, Sales and Marketing Courses and Information Technology Skills in Computer.
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“Once you have started your studies at the University, engage in voluntary services which are in line with your training in organizations such as the Red Cross, gender offices, Judiciary, food industry and probation offices, among other public offices,” she added.