JKUAT Emerged Winner in Intervarsity Human Rights Debate 2017
Today, Amnesty International (Kenya), Hakijamii and EachRights paid a courtesy call to the Office of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Vice Chancellor, Prof Mabel Imbuga.
JKUAT currently has a student population of 45,000 students and there are 50 registered groups in the institution.
In attendance was the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research Production and Extension Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Anyango. These two leaders are credited for JKUAT’s renown performance in technology and agriculture.
From the VC we learned that Strathmore’s umbilical code is buried in JKUAT considering that the institution’s first curriculum was discussed by the JKUAT Senate. That explains the cosy relationship between the two institutions of higher learning.
It is good news to learn that JKUAT banned all tribal clubs. I remember when I was at University a couple of years ago there was an association for most communities. This is where students from each tribe congregated to discuss everything and nothing.
Prof. Mabel Imbuga called for students to avoid misusing the phrase “human rights” especially when they are caught cheating in exams. She narrated how students caught cheating ask to appear before the disciplinary committee with their lawyers. Irungu Houghton, the new Executive Director for Amnesty International, termed that a “violation of human rights.”
The issue of University funding came up during the discussion. This is a sensitive area and shows how committed a country is towards building its human resources. Prof Mabel Imbuga noted that JKUAT receives just 19% of its annual budget from government funding. The rest of the budget (81%) has to be mobilized from elsewhere. The higher education funding is diminishing at a time when parallel programme is being killed slowly but surely according to Prof. Mabel Imbuga.
Adequate funding for our institutions of higher learning is a must if we want to promote economic growth and development. He urged all university students to have an open mind in receiving the skills given to them. She was referring to the fact that some students pass through college and end up getting elected to the various legislative houses but can’t utter a single word. This is because they failed to acquire proper communication skills.
Finally, Prof. Mabel noted that she is thinking to introduce study of ethics for all students to ensure that well-behaved graduates are produced. This was on the backdrop of students or graduates who engage in unethical behaviors such as joining terror organizations, robbing banks among others.
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