STATE OF THE NATION, THE DEKUT NATION

*Bosco Limau*

“Ah! Its 5am again time to get ready for classes.” A feeling known by most learners around the world. As the saying goes, time is money and the rich sleep less. As known by most, (especially those who live in reality) our country and our planet as a whole is currently facing a crisis, a pandemic (to use the correct medical term) by the name of CORONAVIRUS AKA COVID-19 which has disrupted most if not all of our daily routine. Take for example me now waking up getting ready to go to university just to end up placing myself in the most silent corner of the house (if there is one 😒). I agree it’s better than just sitting idle, waiting for the virus to end (👀) but I think there is a certain discussion we should have about this new arrangement. (the dreaded ONLINE LEARNING) Join me as I analyse this new normal.

🙄🙄🙄 It’s one of the most relevant memes now especially for those currently learning online. I strongly believe that everything in life has a purpose and just as this meme has meaning in our lives its main theme is something very dreadful and should be addressed: THE QUALITY OF ONLINE LEARNING. Our university has made great strides in becoming one the most preferred universities in this great country. But due to the pandemic the university seems to be moving “kinda” slow in adapting to the current changes I know they were one of the first universities to substitute face to face learning for the e-learning one but they forgot one of the essentials in education: Quality.

Take for example this helicopter in the meme, even though the main components; the engine and main body are intact the absence of just the landing rod is hazardous regardless of its size and lack of technological magnificent. It’s due to a certain standard that makes the landing rod essential hence there should be a STANDARD that should be enforced to ensure we receive a good quality of education don’t get me wrong it’s not that I want the university to have a ‘spoon-feeding’ system BUT I would like them to at least meet the standards thus contribute to a better quality education and stem out the emergence of ‘half-baked’ graduates (as the market world refers to them).

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This humble university is guided by a great system of policies and ethics. It has such sound strategies that it established the Directorate of Quality Assurance headed by the able Prof Fredrick Waweru and his able team, with the mandate in engaging in various evaluation strategies, processes and ways that shall include but are not limited to:
• Regular review of QMS in accordance with appropriate quality standards.
• Prepare and Conduct Internal Quality Audits.
• Train and sensitize University staff on Quality Assurance and QMS matters
• Supervise, Evaluate and Monitor University processes.
• Conduct Student-Lecturers Evaluations.
• Exam Invigilation.
• Prepare External Examiners Report Summaries.
• Monitoring of adherence to Semester schedule as per the timetables.
• Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
• To monitor, review, audit, evaluate and continuously develop institutional and course accreditation.

I know it may sound too good to be true but visit this link and see for yourself:
https://www.dkut.ac.ke/index.php/about-dekut/administrative-units/directorate-of-quality-assurance

BUT before you check it out lets finish this conversation. Picture this – you finished High school got the marks needed to be admitted into university (regardless if government or self-sponsored), specializing in something but how would you feel if after 3-5 years of learning you’re equated with those who attended mediocre universities? Take a moment to ask yourself how will your parent(s) feel that you wasted his/her money that he/she had to sell his/her cows, plots or anything valuable in order to put you through university just to graduate as a half-baked graduate or do you think the Government will be understanding that when it’s time to pay up your loan just because you didn’t have the proper skills to generate revenue???

I know it’s a hard time, tensions are high, the economy is bad, the number of COVID millionaires is rising but we all know the challenges e-learning faces. The days you stared at the screen just to see the lecturer connecting and disconnecting due to network problems; or the time when you thought the lecturer was just ‘speaking’ Algebra but in true sense the shared screen didn’t display the output the lecturer was inputting in his/her screen; missing out on important content or even the time the shared screen refused to share but the lecturer was busy teaching not knowing he/she was sailing alone; or the time when the lecturer was just about to say something important but his/her voice starts to break, just to mention a few.

I don’t like to complain even though tit for tat is fair but it’s not ethical meaning just like we persevere with the drama of e-learning the university should also invest in promoting quality education on the net by providing the lecturers with digital writing pads to sketch those ‘air drawn’ diagrams and fast internet for the lecturers. They should also nvest in an internet service provider who can provide the students with reliable internet wherever they may be or they can also reduce the fees so that students can purchase their own.

Lastly, I advocate for quality education both online and offline coupled with a good mechanism for testing the content taught since there has been a rise in students preferring the online lessons just because it comes with an online exam thus 4-4-2 can be done with ease.
Also as a university we should unite as a team and not undermine one group over the other and by God’s grace we shall be successful in our academic aspirations. AMEN
WE ALL CAME TO THE UNIVERSITY WITH THE AIM OF LEARNING AND LET THERE BE LEARNING WITH QUALITY EDUCATION FOR QUANTITY IS ABUNDANT BUT NOT USEFUL.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment section below

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Rose says:

    People’s voice

  • Rose says:

    Preach! my comrade! Preach!

  • Ndege Festus Oduor says:

    Change is inevitable so they sayI do want to believe that whoever observed that every cloud has a silver lining had already seen enough of the post happenings of a challenge. We cannot deny the weaknesses of virtual learning nor ignore it’s pros all in all .every coin has two sidesthe only way is to ensure that the recipients interest is given first priority and quality is all that is required essentially

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