KICD chairman says technology can resolve teacher shortage problem

MKU founder and Board Chairman Prof Simon Gicharu. He suggests the use of technology to resolve the teacher shortage issue.

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

“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 the KICD boss.

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 Ksh28 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.

“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 remarked.

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 centres. We are fully committed to ensuring that our students have the best learning experience,” the chairman stated.

The Vice Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi said it is high time MKU fully embraced 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 Vice Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi.

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 said.

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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