Kenyatta University (KU) has launched its new KU Digital School in a move that is set to address the increased demand for improved higher education e-Learning programs in Kenya. All newly enrolled students at KU Digital School will be provided with a free Tablet uploaded with registered units. Programmes will run on a trimester cycle, which means that students enrolled for the undergraduate programmes will complete their studies within 3 calendar years.
“We live in a technologically-rich nation country where more than ever before, most of us, especially the younger generation are spending more time online, and in more advanced and creative ways,” said Professor Olive Mugenda, Kenyatta University’s Vice Chancellor.
Students who are unable to take up full-time on-campus programmes, will benefit from a wide range of quality programmes at Diploma, Undergraduate and Post-graduate levels through Open and Distance Learning modes offered at KU Digital School.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Information and Technology, Kenya said there has been a significant investment in Information and Communications Technology in the education sector which has resulted in technologically‐enhanced teaching and learning approaches.
“KU Digital School will not only allow for a seamless integrated approach to accessing and sharing information but also empower students as they will be able to access quality education anywhere and anytime,” added Dr. Matiang’i.
KU Digital School programmes will also combine digital instruction, with live tutorials in the Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Garissa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Embu, Nyeri and Marsabit regional centres. The use of smart phone tablets means that students can learn anytime anywhere without real-time internet access, proactively interact through offline and online forums and messages, as well as self evaluate and compare themselves with their peers.
“Our e‐Learning programs have the potential to deliver improved services and tools coupled with quality professional support. Our costs are affordable, teachers and students can interact through offline and online forums, thus catering for students’ learning needs,” added Ms Mugenda.
Rapid advances in ICT devices such as the smart phone used at KU Digital School and the widespread adoption of ICT in Africa means that they are increasingly able to support competency and performance‐based curricula as well as student-based learning.
According to a report by US-based international research company Ambient Insight, the sharp rise in academic digitisation programmes, enrolment in online higher education and self-paced e-Learning, has seen Africa become the most dynamic e-Learning market in the world.
KU Digital School will engage learners in programs in which they have control over the pace and direction of their learning. The paradigm shift brought about by KU Digital School will mean the teacher is no longer the ‘deliverer’ of knowledge, as the new e-Learning environment will focus on the learner as the information seeker.