NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – President Mwai Kibaki has appointed Professor Florida Amakobe Karani as Chancellor of Maseno University.
Speaking during the eighth graduation ceremony at the university President Kibaki described Professor Karani as a renowned educationist and scholar.
“I have no doubt that she is the right person for the job,” the Head of State said.
The professor of Education is a former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) at the University of Nairobi.
The President also announced that the government had approved the upgrading of Bondo Teachers College into a constituent college of Maseno University.
“This will enable the university to grow and ensure that its academic programmes reach more people,” the Head of State said.
The Government has so far established nine university colleges in its endeavor to expand access to university education.
To address the challenge of commercialisation of research and technology in the country, the President said the government is in the process of preparing the Science, Technology and Innovation Bill.
“The Government is also finalising the necessary policy, institutional and legal framework details to establish a responsive National Innovation System,” he added. “To this end, the government is in the process of preparing the science, technology and innovation bill that will be tabled in parliament for consideration and approval by the House.”
The Head of State encouraged the private sector participation in provision of tertiary education saying that financing higher education was a major challenge facing the Government as it seeks to increase funding of the sector in tandem with improved economic performance.
He noted that the Ministry of Education was crucial in provision of the required skilled human resource base to achieve and sustain the economic and social growth targets aspired under vision 2030 and would continue to attract increased funding from the Government.
“It is in recognition of the important role of the education sector in transformation of our country that my Government has continued to invest heavily in education. In the current financial year, for instance, my Government increases the budget of the Ministry of Education to Sh100.2 billion from Sh96.8 billion the previous year,” the President said.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga urged the graduands to strive to become international professionals who could ably work in any part of the globe but reminded them to contribute towards the country’s development by remitting finances back home.
Higher Education Minister, Sally Kosgei said the government would stop the trend of Universities taking over middle level institutions which she said had a vital role to play in the development of the country.
During the occasion over 1100 graduands were awarded diplomas and conferred upon degrees, while the President was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of letters.