Quest for Quality and Relevant Higher Education, Training and Learning in Kenya: an Overview
Education Journal
Volume 2, Issue 2, March 2013, Pages: 36-49
Received: Mar. 15, 2013; Published: Mar. 10, 2013
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Author
Wycliffe Wanzala, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University, P.O. Box 170-90200, Kitui, Kenya; Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, P.O. Box 62157-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
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Abstract
Kenya is in the midst of many transformations and transition processes of its institutions and administra-tive/governance structures following the promulgation of a new constitution on 27th August, 2010. Institutions for higher education, training and learning top the list of priority institutions targeted for these revolutions and evolutionary processes. The institutions are expanding at an alarming rate and are greatly challenged with the delivery of quality and relevant edu-cation, training and learning compounded with political interference, corruption, nepotism and socio-economic mayhem under the watchdog of weak national agencies charged with the responsibilities of standardization of an existing educational system together with its quality and relevance to the society it is serving. Conversely, it’s regrettable that irrelevant and poor quality education and training is being offered in these institutions while hiding under “ISO certification”, the International Organization for Standardization of systems/institutions and under the watchdog of the Commission for University Education (CUE) and standardization and quality assurance units in the ministries of Higher Education, Science and Technology and Education. It is imperative to note that it took the Kenyan Government about 45 years to build 7 public universities, which are currently not yet fully equipped to anticipated international standards and notwithstanding, the same government takes only 5 years to build 23 more public universities in a fragile economy. This marks a more than 200% growth in the number of public universities in Kenya. In addition to this and over 227 existing tertiary institutions, the Government is expected to set up at least a public university in each of the 47 counties according to Universities Act, 2012; implying that more institutions for higher education, training and learning are in the offing should any of the 47 counties be found without a university once the devolved system of governance starts operating as from Tuesday April 9th, 2013, following the swearing in of the 4th President of Kenya, and henceforth, change of country’s leadership. Will the existing Kenyan political system and socio-economic status sustain this university growth rate and produce and maintain quality, relevant and internationally competitive graduates? Whether the answer is “yes” or “no”, it’s only hoped that the on-going legal, economic, structural, political, governance and regulatory reforms in key stakeholder institutions and watchdog agencies will successfully take root and ensure delivery of quality and relevant education, training and learning in Kenya, thereby consenting to its provisions and intended purpose in the society.
Keywords
Higher education and training, Quality and relevant education, Standardization of educational systems, Educational reforms and development, Expansion of higher education
To cite this article
Wycliffe Wanzala, Quest for Quality and Relevant Higher Education, Training and Learning in Kenya: an Overview, Education Journal. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2013, pp. 36-49. doi: 10.11648/j.edu.20130202.13
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