New students have been challenged to work towards striking a balance in exercising “individual freedom and personal responsibility” especially with the advent of Information and Communication Technology. The Vice Chancellor said this on Monday October 1, 2012 while welcoming over 3000 new first year students who reported at JKUAT Main Campus, Juja.
The Vice Chancellor said, “Although the application of ICT undoubtedly remains the source of global development, it also had the “unintended” potential to derail young people from achieving career ambitions if misused”.
The Vice Chancellor encouraged the students to continue with their academic excellence streak which they started while in high school, urging them to “shun examination related infractions such as cheating.” She further implored the freshmen to give the enticing excesses of life such as irresponsible drinking, drug abuse and sexual immorality a wide berth noting that such vices could impede their career aspirations as young scholars.
Prof. Imbuga advised the freshmen against engaging in any abhorrent behaviour whose purpose is to satisfy selfish desires and needs. She instead advised the new students to exercise their freedom with due regard to personal dignity and integrity. She thus made a clarion call to all students to get their priorities right and “Avoid the kind of pitfalls that have befallen university students who once held lots of hope and great promise”.
Besides academics, Prof Imbuga also impressed upon the students fraternity to take a strong interest in co-curricular activities that are available at JKUAT. “The University will encourage and support you to identify, explore and fully exploit your God-given talents in the areas of sports, entertainment among many others”. She underscored the role of co-curricular activities in shaping the character of the young people, social skills and the promotion of tolerance amongst young people.
In summing her address which was warmly received by the students, the Vice Chancellor urged them to aim higher and to always pray that God grants them good health and wisdom and wished them success in their academic endeavours.
On his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo congratulated the first years for making it to the “University of Choice” and reminded them that the ultimate success of their academic endeavours will be measured through their “changed attitudes, reservoir of knowledge acquired, and the intensity and diversity of skills accumulated” at the end of the courses.
The DVC reaffirmed the uniqueness and competitiveness of JKUAT programmes a fact that has led to greater demand which the university has endeavoured to satisfy by establishing more centres and campuses not only across Kenya but also in other countries like Tanzania, Rwanda and Nigeria, where JKUAT has established Campuses to quench the thirst of knowledge seekers adding that plans were underway to increase JKUAT campuses.
Prof. Odhiambo further informed the students that as JKUAT gears towards becoming a University of Global Excellence in Training, Research and Innovation for Development, it is imperative that every student is exposed to computer technology adding that the university has “e-mail and Internet facilities accessible at a moderate fee” and the students are at liberty to use the facilities to communicate to any part of the world by a touch of the mouse.
He reminded them of the need to take all scheduled academic activities such as assessment tests with the seriousness they deserve since they count in the final classification of their certificates/Diplomas/Degrees.
The well attended function was also graced by several other senior university officials who included Registrar Academic Affairs Dr. Suleiman Okech, Deans, Directors, Chairpersons of Departments and heads of other university sections.