News and Events

Keep up to date with the latest news and events from MMUST

MMUST TAKES OVER OWNERSHIP OF STEM EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND DIGITAL LIBRARY FROM DIVERSITY EDUCATION INSTITUTE AFRICA

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology is now the official administrator and owner of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education International Conference (STEMEIC), as well as a digital library with over sixty (60) thousand eBooks. Yesterday, 14th June, 2022, Diversity Education Institute Africa (DEI-Africa) handed over the management of STEMEIC and the library to MMUST, in a semi-virtual ceremony that was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo and the DEI-Africa Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alphonse Furuma.

Speaking during the event, Prof. Shibairo expressed gratitude to DEI-Africa for entrusting MMUST with the management of both the Conference and the digital library. “As a University, we are honored to have the opportunity of running the STEMEI Conference and the digital library. I want to assure you that the two (2) are in safe hands. The University Management has been supporting DEI and MMUST projects and will continue to support future collaborations,” stated Prof. Shibairo.

“We are excited to have reached this milestone and we look forward to more partnerships,” said Mr. Furuma. According to the DEI-Africa CEO, the digital library receives new books every day from international authors, writers and publishers. “This means that the library will need frequent updating and monitoring. It will also need to be backed up so that we can guarantee that the resources are permanently in our hands,” he said, adding that the eBooks were donated by Project Gutenberg, a non-profit organization based in the United States.


image 2022 06 15T005701.745A section of the participants during the handover ceremony.


The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Students Affairs), Prof. Hussein Golicha, reiterated that MMUST will make good use of the library, saying that there are University publications that can be added to the collection. He also stated that there is a need to reach out to the community so that it can benefit from these resources.

The MMUST-DEI partnership has yielded significant projects. The institutions, in conjunction with other organizations, have organized two (2) successful international virtual conferences. “STEMEIC was the first international virtual conference to be held in MMUST. We pride ourselves in successfully conducting these conferences, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated the MMUST Director of International Relations and Academic Linkages, Dr. Catherine Aurah.

Regarding the digital library, Dr. Aurah pointed out that the DEI-Africa CEO is passionate about promoting the reading culture and that his dream is to have students undertake extensive reading so that they can perform better.

The Country Director DEI-Africa, Ms. Pamela Igara, noted that the MMUST-DEI relationship is long-term and that she would like to see more results. “DEI-Africa partners with institutions of higher learning as they provide us with information through research. MMUST has been very dear to us and today is the culmination of the efforts between the two (2) institutions,” said Ms. Igara.


image 2022 06 15T010037.443Country Director, DEI-Africa, Ms. Pamela Igara, gives her remarks during the handover ceremony.


She noted that the digital library has been with DEI-Africa for the last four (4) years. “My wish is to see more students have access to books because extensive reading is a major component of education. Most parents are unable to acquire books due to high prices but with online books, this will no longer be the case as they are quite affordable,” she stated. Ms. Igara was accompanied by a representative of DEI-Africa, Mr. Isaac Omollo.

“The STEMEI Conference has added value to the University’s Performance Contract. I appreciate the support that DEI-Africa has given this University and most importantly for handing over the management of the Conference to MMUST,” said MMUST Director of Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala.

Further, the Director of research mentioned that the University should consider how to utilize the digital library, as well as ensure that thousands of Kenyans are able to access it. “We need to think outside the box and run this library like no other. The impact of over sixty (60) thousand eBooks is going to be enormous. Certainly, a digital library is a plus for MMUST. It is something that boosts our value as a University and is a great step towards increasing literacy levels in the country,” he said.

“The STEMEI Conferences have been conducted exclusively virtually, including the submission and review of abstracts,” said DEI-Africa ICT expert, Mr. Elvis Jonyo, during his presentation at the MMUST Institute of Open and Distance e-Learning (IODeL). Mr. Jonyo demonstrated the ‘OpenConf Peer Review and Submission Management System,’ a software used by authors to submit their abstracts for review and feedback during the Conference. “Aside from Conference purposes, this system can be modified and used for online postgraduate students’ supervision,” he stated. The ICT expert also demonstrated the operations of the digital library.


ELVISDEI-Africa ICT expert, Mr. Elvis Jonyo, gives his presentation.


The Acting MMUST Senior Librarian, Mr. Vincent Chibini, stated that the digital library will make learning easier and echoed that it should be available to as many people as possible. “Now we have a better way of serving our clients. Our clients will now have equal access to the University resources regardless of where they are,” he said.

“We hope that the backlink on the DEI-Africa website will remain active as it is crucial in boosting our web ranking,” said the MMUST ICT Manager, Mr. Waliaro Apollo, reiterating that he was pleased to see the MMUST-DEI relationship grow.

The legal session of the handover ceremony was presided over by the MMUST Senior Legal Officer, Mr. Norman Magaya.

The MMUST-DEI partnership began in 2019 when the two (2) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. They later brought on board other institutions, which have been collaborating on a number of projects. There are over thirty (30) members in this consortium and fifteen (15) of them are from MMUST. These institutions are; Sam Houston State University (SHSU), Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Kibabii University (KIBU), Kaimosi Friends University College (KAFUCO), United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), Murang’a University, Chuka University, Egerton University, Kenyatta University, the University of Nairobi, the Co-operative University of Kenya, Longhorn Publishers and East African Educational Publishers.


By Mary Wangari Wambugu

Photos by Shiundu Masafu Wilberforce