How would you feel graduating on the same day in the same University with your child, a year after your other daughter had graduated and a year to yet another graduation of your son? For Josephat Amunga Mideva Otiende,, Friday 4th December will be a great day at MMUST. He will be graduating on the same day with his daughter Mercy Otiende who is now a professional teacher having pursued Bachelor of Education Arts (History, Religion).

Josephat Otiende, also a teacher by profession, went to Kagumo Teachers Training College and graduated in 1983 as P1 teacher. In 1988, he was promoted to Head teacher and has been developing himself professionally. A founder member of the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) registered in 2003, Mr Otiende was elected as Chairman, KEPSHA, Vihiga Branch and in 2006 elected the National Deputy Treasurer, KEPSHA.

Mr Otiende joined MMUST, Ebunangwe Study Centre in 2009, to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (Kiswahili, Religion) degree programme on School-Based learning mode. Among the policies governing KEPSHA is the requirement to have a minimum of a 1st degree. While in MMUST, Mr. Otiende met Vice Chancellor, Prof. Fredrick Otieno and shared with him the possibility of encouraging other teachers to enhance their qualifications. Support for this proposition came from diverse sources and culminated in the signing of an MOU between MMUST and KNUT where KNUT members pursuing courses at MMUST get 15% fee waiver for themselves and their dependants.

Mr. Otiende sees MMUST as occupying a bigger and special position. He is delighted to direct anybody willing to pursue higher education to join the University. His daughter Faith Otiende graduated in 2014 from MMUST having pursued Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Midwifery. “I am now persuading my wife who holds a Diploma to join MMUST and I know she will accept. My son who completed form four this year wants to either take ICT or Journalism. He is also keen on joining MMUST,” said Mr. Otiende.

Another son, Godfrey Otiende is in third year at MMUST pursuing Bachelor of Education Arts (History, Religion). Asked whether he influenced his children to go into the teaching profession, Mr Otiende said, “I gave my children the freedom to choose what they wanted to pursue and promised them my support. I only influenced them to join MMUST because of the unrivalled quality of education offered in the University,” he said.

A committed father, Mr. Otiende wishes to see his children prosper. All of his children are on Privately Sponsored Students Programme but he ensures that he pays fees on the registration day of the first semester. “Ask Godfrey, he will confirm to you that I have already paid all the fees required for this academic year. It is because I promised to support them and I want to see them prosper,” he added. He thanked MMUST for the opportunity given and appealed to the University to aggressively establish study centers in different parts of Kenya. “There are many Kenyans out there who can benefit from the academic programmes at MMUST. Our teachers are so willing to study,” said Mr. Otiende. Over 3,600 graduands will be awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates during the 10th Graduation on Friday 4th December 2015.

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