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Latest Education News In The Headlines This Afternoon

Kimemia decries low enrollment for TVET courses, PSC rushes to fill university posts as law change looms and all schools to reopen according to the calendar issued by the Ministry of Education - among the education news making headlines today.

1. Kimemia decries low enrollment for TVET courses

In a report to Senate’s Standing Committee on Education, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said the most affected learning institutions are Vocational Training Centres (VTCs).

Kimemia has communicated worry over the low number of understudies enrolling for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses notwithstanding hefty government venture, the strategy of 100% transition of Class Eight candidates to secondary schools and the eligibility of Four Form leavers with grade E to apply for the courses in VTCs. 

He said over the most recent three years, just 1,960 VTC learners sat for public assessments in the county.

2. PSC rushes to fill university posts as law change looms

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is hurrying to clear a backlog of vacancies in senior positions at public universities. This comes ahead of a law change that will before long remove PSC’s enlistment powers in institutions of higher learning.

As shown in the recruitment law, which is soon changing after a proposed bill, they will entrust the selection panel with advertising vacancies, vetting and sending three names to the CS who will pick one up-and-comer.

“The panel shall regulate its procedure. The CS shall upon receipt of the names forwarded appoint a candidate from any of the three qualified applicants. And the selection panel shall stand dissolved after the appointment of a candidate,” the law says.

A year ago’s an amendment of the Universities Act 2012, took away the powers of university councils to advertise, interview and suggest contender for Vice-chancellors, Deputy Vice-chancellors, Principals and Dp Principals to be appointed by Cabinet Secretary for Education.

The proposed Universities Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 which regresses the hiring powers to the Cabinet secretary, pends discussion and endorsement or dismissal in Parliament.

“Where a vacancy occurs in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor of a public university or Principal or Deputy Principal of a constituent college, the Cabinet Secretary shall make up a selection panel to conduct the recruitment,” Bill says.

Seven Universities have been working with 15 empty posts which are controlled by authorities selected by University Councils to act, pending substantive appointments according to the system of recruitment. 

This has prompted protests about failures and the absence of autonomy in settling on choices and allowing strategy. Although University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi, who seem to support PSC’s fling, imagines that the vacancies ought not to stay empty for quite a while. 

“What the PSC is doing is fine, but I think they should move with greater urgency to keep our universities running smoothly, especially in this Covid-19 era. There is no reason at all why these positions should remain vacant for so long,” said Amb Simon Nabukwesi.

Dr Nabukwesi says PSC ought not to hang tight for the law shift cycle to run its direction.

“Our only interest is to have the universities running smoothly, so it’s alright for them to use the existing procedure to make the appointments. In the future, once the change-over is complete, we should never have people acting in positions for longer than is strictly necessary,” said Nabukwesi.

The University of Nairobi for example has been without two deputy vice-chancellors (DVCs) for Finance and Human Resources. 

Kenyatta University has no considerable DVC for Academics and Student Affairs, while Moi comes up short on the head for the College of Health Science and a DVC for Finance. 

Laikipia University has no DVC for Academics, Research and Student Affairs and one for Administration and Finance, while Egerton is without two DVCs (Administration and Planning, and Research and Extension). Egerton likewise does not have a considerable head for its Nakuru Town Campus. 

At the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, the commission is currently recruiting all three DVCs–Finance, Academics and Planning–while Kaimosi Friends University College has no representative principal accountable for scholarly undertakings.

3. All schools to reopen according to the calendar issued by the Ministry of Education

Speaking during the #LabourDay2021 celebration, President Uhuru Kenyatta delivered good news to students, parents and teachers. He ordered that all schools will reopen on May 10th, as had been scheduled by the Ministry of Education.

“Educational institutions shall reopen as per Education Ministry calendar. Resumption of sporting activities to be guided by Health and Sports Ministries,” Uhuru said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also lifted the cessation of movement into out of Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos counties. This means students will travel from their home to school without problems earlier experience owing to roadblocks.

“Given experts’ advice that we have received, the cessation of movement in and out the 5-county zone has been lifted,” Uhuru said.

He, however, cautioned that we must not overwhelm the health sector by acting irresponsibly and raising the rate of admissions into our hospitals unnecessarily.

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Francis Kimemia Kimemia PSC Senate TVET

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