The collaborative initiative between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the National Youth Service (NYS) in Marine Engineering training programme has been accorded formal recognition following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions Friday, May 3, 2013.
In a ceremony conducted at JKUAT Main Campus Juja, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga lauded the move by the two institutions to formally establish an MoU, a development which she said was long overdue and reiterated that “the signing of the MoU has come at the right time as it demonstrates a bottom up approach to collaboration in which activities of corporation start and then formalizing agreements follow. Training of marine cadets is one major collaboration activity”.
Noting that the cadet marine engineering training of JKUAT students has gone on smoothly, the Vice Chancellor cherished the positive and enduring efforts of members of staff from JKUAT and NYS who have tirelessly worked towards the success of the now official collaboration.
Prof Imbuga further underscored the “strong relationship that exists between physical fitness and mental alertness,” adding, the two institutions could latch onto this competence to develop jointly with the aim of giving graduates of JKUAT and NYS a competitive edge in the job market. She also urged NYS to explore ways of rolling out their training to members of staff in the University observing that the move would impact positively in their performance at the work place and in their lives.
While acknowledging the unique facilities at NYS, the Vice Chancellor said members of staff will be more than happy to utilize them under the sealed collaboration and equally urged “NYS to take advantage of the MoU to benefit from JKUAT’s numerous training programmes offered in various colleges and campuses spread across the country.
The VC also revealed that after signing the MoU, a Joint Management Committee will be formed to fully operationalize the agreement and challenged members of JKUAT and NYS to take full advantage of the collaboration for the betterment and growth of the two institutions.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof. Esther Kahangi said, NYS was a “highly respected institution in Kenya and everyone is eager to hire NYS graduates because of the high standards of discipline inculcated in them,” adding, it was very exciting that the collaboration with NYS in training Marine Engineering students had remained an active and viable initiative that stood out from the rest.
Speaking at the function, the NYS Director General, Japhter K. Rugutt said he was pleased with the MoU which he said, “would go along way in cementing the already existing engagement with JKUAT activities and programmes.”
The Director General who was accompanied by the NYS Commandant Mr. Edward Osore, hailed the sealed deal which he emphasized, fitted well with the youth agenda as espoused in the Jubilee Manifesto which seeks to address critical areas of acquisition of skills, knowledge, training, and opening up the minds of the youth in Kenya a fact he said “would enable them perceive the globalised world in a more positive way while remaining focused in the development of the country.”
Citing the case of Self Employment Promotion Units (SEPU) programme at NYS, the Director General explained that NYS and JKUAT could partner and take up the challenge of leveraging on the facilities the twin institutions have to address the challenge of unemployment adding that there are many opportunities that can be explored by both institutions to make their presence felt in every corner of the country.
The two parties will collaborate in the areas of sharing facilities, institutional capacity building, staff exchange and attachment, student training attachment, research, innovations and technology development among other areas aimed at enhancing the provision of quality training in marine engineering, navigation and related studies.
Present at the function also include: the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs Prof David Mulati, Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, a Senior Extension Officer in the Research, Production and Extension Division Dr. Kaibui Muikamba and the University’s Legal Officer Ms. Vivian Waithaka.