As part of the country’s youth, students of JKUAT have been advised to employ their vast entrepreneurial skills to tap into the current favourable public policy initiative to transact business with government and its agencies.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, told students JKUAT had already implemented the government policy that required 30 percent of the University procurement contracts be awarded to the Youth, Women and Persons with Disability categories of Kenyans.
Speaking at an interactive session with students held at the University, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Prof. Odhiambo, however petitioned the student fraternity at JKUAT to ensure they met government’s main prescribed criteria requiring possible beneficiaries to the policy program to set up and register own enterprises with Kenya’s Treasury if they hoped to access government tenders and contracts.
According to the rules governing the scheme, only registered enterprises owned by youth, women or persons with disabilities shall be recognized. Seventy percent of the group membership must comprise youth, women or persons with disabilities while leadership shall be one hundred percent youth, women and persons with disabilities, respectively.
Prof. Odhiambo said, JKUAT would support innovative and enterprising students to join other contenders currently benefitting from the provision of goods and services to JKUAT. Such business endeavors, he said, were instrumental in advancing the wealth and employment creation for Kenyans. “Besides, the opportunity will enable students to actualize the application of theory they learn in the real world of work.”
He expressed confidence, the culture of research and innovation that had been embedded in JKUAT academic training, would come in handy in boosting students to excel in trading with JKUAT, government ministries and its agencies.
Prof. Odhiambo who spoke on a wide range of issues concerning students’ academic and welfare affairs, reminded students JKUAT had a global agenda in its approach to training and research, a fact that he said had given the University’s alumni a competitive edge in the job market.
He as well used the occasion to allay fears among students that the government intended to increase fees in the country’s public universities. Prof Odhiambo read a letter signed by Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology dated Monday May 19, 2014 which Prof. Kaimenyi used to describe reports of the impending fees increment in public universities as misleading and inaccurate.
The Cabinet Secretary reassured university students any fee increment in public universities had to be agreed upon by all stakeholders including students. “Any fee increase must be initiated by respective university councils, deliberated upon through a consultative process that must bring on board stakeholders before my approval.”
Key stakeholders, he said, include: Parliament, Commission for University Education, University students, and parents, saying “ no such process has been started so far.”
The session was attended by the entire students governing council led by Chairman Felix Kipkalya who emphasized the fact that JKUAT was a public university and therefore had clear stakes in fees regulation in public universities. Mr. Kipkalya, who as well serves as national treasurer, Kenya University Students Organization (KUSO), the national umbrella union that represent students in public universities, welcomed Prof. Kaimenyi’s timely decision to clarify the government’s position on fees increment in public universities that had generated panic among students. Kipkalya informed his ‘comrades’ he had earlier, together with his KUSO colleagues, met the Cabinet Secretary saying the deliberations were fruitful.
The function was also addressed by Acting Registrar Academic Affairs Mr. Anthony Kiswii, Dean of Students Ms. Emma Omulokoli and Director, University Community Collaboration and Chancellor Maasai Mara University Prof. Philip Ngunjiri.