Follow

MKU thrives due to long-time investment in modern technology

By James Wakahiu
Monday, October 12th, 2020
MKU founder Prof Simon Gicharu (centre) with the university Council chair Prof David Serem (left) and Pro-Chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho during last week’s graduation ceremony. Photo/PD/JAMES WAKAHIU
In summary

Mount Kenya University (MKU) has been able to thrive amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to heavy investment in long-term technology.

Corona pandemic challenges have devastated learning worldwide. 

MKU founder and chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof Simon Gicharu, said even the institution’s 18th graduation ceremony that was virtually conducted on Friday  was possible due to technology.

 Gicharu said MKU was among the first universities in the country to be given a clean bill of health in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.

“When Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic and all schools in the country subsequently closed, we immediately migrated our classes to online.

Then we joined the global fight against the virus through science, innovation, community outreach and community education,” Gicharu said.

Chancellor Prof John Struthers said  the institution has partnered with key national and international ICT service providers to ensure digital connectivity and capacity building. 

For instance, MKU, he said had partnered with a global digital service provider, VMware, who have since established a training academy at the institution.

‘To date, VMware Academy has trained 15 members of staff  who have in turn trained 20 students, all under full sponsorship of provider. This training was online and continued during the Covid-19 lockdown,’ he added.

Chief Guest, ICT minister Joe Mucheru lauded MKU for becoming fully digital in teaching, conducting examinations, research, and community outreach and in all the university businesses including the hosting of this graduation ceremony

However, special guest Prof Phillip Machanick of South Africa warned that although digitisation will enable higher education institutions overcome emerging challenges such as the Covid-19 related challenges, many universities in the developing countries might not cope with the heavy capital investment required. 

“This could lead to a reduced rate of establishing new universities, but also to a possible closing of shop of some universities,” he said.