All first year students joining Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and who have no medical cover will from this academic be required to register directly with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) before they are admitted.
According to the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the requirement, however, exempts those students who may already be covered. Addressing First year students admitted during the 2014/2015 at the University’s Main Campus, Juja, Friday 5, 2014; Prof. Imbuga noted that it had become untenable for the university to sustain the ever increasing hospital expenses for students when they fell sick as the number kept skyrocketing each academic year. Such an arrangement, she noted, was the best option as it would serve as a rebate for the students, and as a revolving fund for their treatment.
Prof. Imbuga who is also the Chairperson of the Kenya Vice Chancellors’ Committee, urged the students to remain focused by setting their priorities right and avoid pitfalls such as examination related antics such as examination cheating, and other excesses of life such as irresponsible drinking, drug abuse and sexual immorality, stating that such vices would ruin their career aspirations as young scholars. She therefore challenged the students to maintain high moral and discipline standards that would endear them to their peers.
Prof. Imbuga noted with concern the growing cases of HIV/AIDS cases in the country, advising the students to avoid any form of sexual carelessness which would otherwise shatter their dreams and devastate their loved ones if they did not take any caution.
It was because of its seriousness, she noted, which made the University offer a mandatory unit in HIV/AIDS across all its degree programmes. The move is aimed at creating awareness among students about the scourge. Statistics indicate that the country’s HIV/AIDS prevalence stands at 5.6% with women accounting for 6.9%, compared to men which stand at 4.4%.
On ICT, which she described as an important driver of knowledge production and dissemination, the Vice Chancellor said her University Management Board had made arrangements to facilitate new students from last year to access computer laptops at discounted prices to be done in two installments in order to make it easier for students to pay and access the laptops for use.
Unlike the rest of the laptops that could be purchased from the market, she pointed out; “those purchased through the university have specifications required for use across all programmes.” Through them, students will be able to access some taught units which are offered through online mode of delivery, as well as access free of charge University subscribed e-books and e-journals among other academic materials from the library.
The welcome address was also attended by Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Romanus Odhiambo in charge of Academic Affairs (AA); Prof. Esther Kahangi in charge of Research, Production and Extension (RPE), Prof. Victoria Ngumi, in charge of Administration, Planning and Development (APD), among other senior officers of the University.
Over 61% (3,266) of the expected 5,324 new students have already reported in the fourth day of the on-going registration. The figure is expected to exceed the projected admission.