The culture of making learning practical and interesting by encouraging students to rely on concrete life activities which has taken root at the University has received new impetus following increased interest from the student community. Launched two years ago as part of a five year collaborative venture between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Canadian based Richard Ivey School of Business of University of Western Ontario, the project, dubbed case study approach because of the practical nature it adopts to learning; has now received widespread approval among JKUAT students, at least going by the large number of students who participated in the 2013 programme that ended at JKUAT, Monday May 27, 2013.
The main plank of the three week training project lies in its autonomy to allow students who work in groups to analyze challenges confronting the growth of small-scale enterprises within the community and provide their own appropriate business decisions that would alleviate the problem. It is this business advantage provided by the training that caught the attention of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga who in a speech during the official closing of the 2013 session underlined the importance of the programme saying it offered students the much crucial management skills that would put them ahead of their colleagues on the job market.
In a speech read on her behalf by then acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Zipporah Nganga, Prof. Imbuga told the beneficiaries to use the learnt skills to tap into the immense business opportunities that were readily available in the country.
The Vice Chancellor was full of praise for the programme that she said was much superior to the common theoretical approach that often left students with lingering queries. She reminded the recipients they had as well benefitted from the rich Canadian –Kenyan cultural mix that she said was useful in fostering relations among the two societies.
This year, over 110 students drawn from various disciplines have benefited from the programme, up from 85 students mainly drawn from School of Human Resource and Development (SHRD) in the previous year.
The ceremony was also addressed by Prof. Kamau Ngamau, Acting DVC, Academic Affairs, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu, Dean SHRD and the course coordinator Pamella Owour among others. Prof. Kamau praised the case study approach, recommending it should be implemented at all JKUAT faculties while Prof. Mukulu lauded the project for raising the university’s international reputation.