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KICD Chair challenges learning institutions to embrace technology in addressing teachers' shortage

The shortage of teachers in learning institutions can be addressed adequately through use of technology that enhances distance learning, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chairman Prof Simon Gicharu says.

“The deficit of teachers in the country is a big challenge because the population is increasing and the government is unable to employ all the teachers. The best way to address this issue lies in technology,” said Gucharu.

He spoke while launching newly acquired digital teaching screen boards at Mount Kenya University (MKU) that will be used to enhance lecturer-student interaction virtually. The 18 devices were acquired from China at a cost of Sh 28 million.

“These displays allow a lecturer to incorporate a range of useful apps or teaching aids that support in simplifying different concepts in class, hence enabling a lecturer to be more effective in training students virtually,” he added.

Gicharu, who is also the MKU Board of Directors Chairman, observed that the traditional model of “brick and mortar universities” will most likely be replaced by Open Universities that offer programmes through virtual platforms and retain only small administrative offices.

He added: “I want to say that the same way we remember with nostalgia the technology of the 80’s is the same way our current technology will be viewed four decades to come,

“As a University, we need to ensure that we are alive to where the world is going, embrace technological transformations, and some changes that may be unpopular including adoption of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) concept.”

He maintained that the digital transformation agenda will be embraced in all Open and Distance Electronic Learning (ODEL) platforms and that MKU students will be among the first in the country to benefit from this technology.

“We expect that these interactive displays will be fully integrated in our training in Thika main campus and also in all our campuses and ODEL centers. We are fully committed to ensure that our students have the best learning experience,” the Chairman stated.

The Vice-Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi said it is high time for MKU to fully embrace the fourth industrial revolution by entrenching technology mediated modalities of teaching and learning in order to meet the needs and expectations of the current generation.

“MKU has already embraced digital transformation and we are well aware that pacing up growth in digital technologies will give us a competitive advantage in a turbulent and highly competitive higher education environment,” stated the VC.

He noted that the interactive screens will support content delivery and enhance interaction between the students and their lecturers.

“I also note that the interactive displays will be useful in supporting collaborations, conferencing and presentations for postgraduate students hence promoting a vibrant research ecosystem in the University. All this will go a long way towards enhancing the transformative quality of teaching in e-learning and conferencing experiences at MKU,” Prof Jaganyi added.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Research Affairs Dr Marceline Kamande said the university has more than 12,000 learners using online platforms who will immensely benefit from the digital interactive displays.


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