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MMUST SET TO UPSCALE CURRICULA THROUGH MODERN TECHNOLOGY-ORIENTED PROGRAMS FOR GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has kicked off the process of review to its academic programs. This was done during a two-day workshop held at the Tom Mboya Labour College, in Kisumu County, on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th March 2021 respectively.


The workshop was dubbed ‘Re-defining programs for Global Competitiveness’ and its main aim was to introduce the Integration of Modern Technologies in Academic Curricula in order to place Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) on the Global map.
Speaking during the workshop. The Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, said that the University ought to have curricula that will promote research, positive change in the society and self-employment among graduates. “MMUST being a TVET Institution that offers competency-based programs, the curricula should be in line with key development agendas such as the Presidential Big Four Agenda, Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals” Said Prof. Shibairo.


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“COVID-19 has made us look at ICT in a different light. We have to meet our students online. As we change our curriculum, we need to look into ICT and our Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) Platform,” he added.

Prof.Shibairo accentuated on enhancement of research and innovation at MMUST to ensure that the University is globally known for that. He also pressed on the importance of the ongoing promotion of staff to Senior Lecturers, saying that the promoted academic staff members should come up with proposals for research. Prof.Shibairo encouraged lecturers to teach for the required hours instead of only issuing handouts to the students. In addition, he said that MMUST needs fundable research programmes that will secure funding for the University to enable it run more programmes.

The Vice Chancellor alluded to plans that are currently underway to ensure that MMUST is more technologically equipped to provide the best teaching and learning experience to students.

According to Prof.Shibairo, the University is setting up a video conferencing station and has already developed a proposal for ICT. On the other hand, Prof.Shibairo also indicated that there are plans to increase the ration of full-time to part time lecturers at the Institution.
“All these issues contribute to our Webometrics ranking,” said Prof.Shibairo.

Prof.Shibairo gave his remarks on the management of the University, greatly commending his predecessor, Prof.Asenath Sigot on her tremendous management during her tenure, especially in matters finance.

Prof.Sigot, who was the key speaker during the instructive workshop, focused on the emerging global trends for Curriculum Review and Development at the University. Prof.Asenath Sigot, a Professor of Nutritional Science in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, Biomedical Sciences and Technology (SPHBS&T), said that the workshop provided an opportunity for MMUST to reflect on its curricula.
“Curriculum development is not only about the University and staff. It is about the development of the society in general,” said Prof.Sigot.
Prof.Sigot said that curriculum review is a continuous process whose focus is on providing learners with abilities of learning new skills and knowledge while addressing gaps within academic programmes, improving teaching and learning, articulating strengths of programmes and provide evidence to drive decision making within the progrmammes.

She added that emergent global trends in curriculum review such as Digital Literacy and Diversity, Lecture halls with smart boards, Innovations like the MIT App Inventor, are geared towards the basic purpose of promoting the full realization of individual’s whole life.
“If graduates need to be re-trained by their employers, then there is a gap,” said Prof.Sigot.

The renowned researcher cited enhancement of ICT Infrastructure, implementation of modern pedagogies for e-learning, alignment of the curriculum and learning outcomes to global tends like COVID-19 and provision of adequate instructional facilities and resource rooms as some of the measures required to mitigate the slow uptake of modern technologies in the curriculum.

Prof.Sigot recommended the establishment of a resource center to train staff on development of teaching guides and other learning materials and encouraged staff to embrace the modern pedagogy.

Universities are grappling with complexities in curricula, especially in a fast-changing society. This is according to Prof.Inyani K. Simala, from the Department of Language and Literature, who made a perceptive presentation on ‘Modern Technology and 21st Pedagogies in Curriculum Implementation at the University’.

“In addition to conventional academics, Universities should empower students with a new language and fluency in 21st Century Skills. Our students must know the importance of these 21st Century Skills because Modern Technologies open up opportunities for our students,” said Prof.Simala.

Prof.Simala also encouraged multidisciplinary collaboration in curriculum development.
“We must break disciplinary boundaries in our Curriculum,” he said.
According to the Kiswahili Professor, the biggest challenge of development is communication and it is a key aspect of University Education. He added that Universities must be excellent in both academics and competencies in order to become globally competitive.
MMUST Curriculum Review and Reform will ensure that MMUST competes globally in the new University education, provides professional training workshops, carries out research on Modern Technologies and 21st Century skills, provides professional training workshops for staff and engages stakeholders in the new curriculum design.

Dr. Judah Ndiku, the Director-Curriculum Review and Development at MMUST, said that the workshop will ensure that MMUST continues to produce the best programmes and courses that suit the mission and vision of the University, meet the needs of the students and other stakeholders as well as emerging global trends.

He shared his vision for Curriculum Review and Development at MMUST, highlighting the key results areas as academic excellence, strengthening consultancy services, financial stability and sustainability, enhancement of institutional capacity, research, innovation and internationalization, which are also envisioned in the University’s Strategic Plan. Dr. Ndiku urged the University fraternity to go through the Strategic Plan and Internalize it.

Furthermore, Dr. Ndiku said MMUST being a student-centred University, students need to be taken through a competitive curriculum in order to compete favorably in this dynamic society.

The workshop also tackled issues affecting Curriculum Review and Development, such as Quality Assurance, matters research and the new Competency Based Curriculum Implementation. These were discussed at length in different capacities by Prof. John Shiundu, Director, Institute of Indigenous Knowledge Cultural Studies, Prof.Peter Bukhala, Director-Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof.Stephen Odebero, Associate Professor of Education Planning at MMUST ,Prof.William Toili, Curriculum Design and Coordinator, MMUST-Bungoma Campus, Prof.Maurice Vincent Omolo, Director, Quality Assurance and Dr.Eng.Samuel Waweru, Director, MMUST- TVET.


By Awuor Sandra Dorcas(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Shiundu Wilberforce (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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