Kenya’s Tertiary Education is Broken

I just read a very disturbing article on The Standard titled: Board rejects 47 degree courses.

A few years back, I was a student at JKUAT. My room-mate was doing a course named “Bachelor of Science in Mining and Mineral Engineering”. This course, like any other engineering course at JKUAT, takes five gruelling years to complete and is in now way ‘easy’. My friend struggled through five years of his life and should be completing his course around June of this year. Nice, eh?

As it turns out, his course is one of the 47 engineering courses that the Engineering Registration Board (ERB) has rejected and will not be recognised.

To put it simply, my room-mate and countless others have wasted five years of their life. They will have nothing to show for it. Can you imagine that? How much money wasted? How much time gone forever? How do you even start to recover from this?

The ERB took this drastic action because the universities were offering very low quality engineering courses. For experience, I can say that this is true. Many of the engineering courses in our country are shamefully sub-par. Our universities and colleges focus too much on making money than on providing quality education.

Of course the ERB’s action is loathsome and painful to many but the real blame lies at the feet of our “institutions of education”. Ours is a broken system.

How can we fix it?

A parting shot:

From “The Loss of the University,” in Home Economics: “The thing being made in a university is humanity. given the current influence of universities, this is merely inevitable. But what universities, at least the public-supported ones, are mandated to make or to help to make is human beings in the fullest sense of those words — not just trained workers or knowledgeable citizens but responsible heirs and members of human culture. If the proper work of the university is only to equip people to fulfill private ambitions, then how do we justify public support? If it is only to prepare citizens to fulfill public responsibilities, then how do we justify the teaching of arts and sciences? The common denominator has to be larger than either career preparation or preparation for citizenship. Underlying the idea of a university — the bringing together, the combining into one, of all the disciplines — is the idea that good work and good citizenship are the inevitable by-products of the making of a good — that is, a fully developed — human being. This, as I understand it, is the definition of the name university.”

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  1. WHAAT! That is madness! What a shame to these universities, because they must have realized they were offering poor quality courses! NKT

  2. Thats just wrong. No wonder people have lost faith in the educational system

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