, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) on Monday called for the harmonisation of the curriculum for higher education within the East African Community countries.
Mayunga Nkunya the Executive Secretary IUCEA explained that the differing curriculums make it hard for graduands to successfully work away from home.
“We need to have a society that has skills that allows them to work within the EAC without a hitch. This will help deal with the problem of unemployment as it creates options that offer diversification,” he said.
The IUCEA official called for the bench marking of the quality of education to create a regional framework for the education system.
Speaking ahead of the East African Academia Private Sector Forum and Exhibition, Nkunya added that higher institution heads within the EAC will meet with the public and private sector.
“Heads of companies within private and public sector will meet with our EAC higher education heads in a forum to discuss issues that they face in employing the graduands.”
“The private sector has accused universities of producing half baked students who lack the adequate expertise in the areas they are said to have studied,” he added.
He explained that students’ innovativeness is something that has yet to be tapped into.
“There are very mainstream education systems that rarely tap into a student’s creativity to develop it.”
“We have engineers who are capable of building a plane yet they can’t get that exposure at home hence we have many students going to the West to pursue that talent.”
“Financial support is also a major hurdle as some students cannot afford higher education,” he said, calling on the countries to embark on issuance of scholarships to needy students.
East African Business Council Executive Director Andrew Kaggwa said that education system that is used is outdated.
“The curriculum used by most countries is the one that was developed by the colonialists with very little amendments done.”
“That system applied then; right now as the world changes then we need to also change and adopt a system that includes the changes,” he said.
He also called for the inclusion of the students as they train them saying, “A teacher-student oriented learning environment is more successful than where a teacher is the sole source of information.”
Kaggwa noted that governments also need to give jobs to youth from other EAC countries other than their own advocating for diversification.
Noted was the hurdle of academic irregularities something that officials called on university heads to account for the certificates they issue more effectively using unique methods and employers to ensure that they receive genuine certificates before hiring.