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Ensure online classes are credible: CUE Directs Varsities and Colleges

The commission for university education, CUE, has released a self-assessment tool for all institutions of higher learning to safeguard quality and standards in online lessons.

Universities have been asked to ensure the credibility of online teaching programmes and security from malpractices.

CUE expressed fears that academic papers tabled by some graduates may be questioned for failing to meet standards for online teaching and examinations.

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Part of the urgent requirements for online lessons is a robust infrastructure that ensures access to learning materials, processing, storage and access to student information and also facilitates student and faculty support.

CUE now wants institutions of higher learning to check the level of compliance with the set benchmarks using their already released self assessment tool.

The document containing the details has been titled   ‘Open, distance and e-learning (ODeL) programmes and institutions in Kenya.’

CUE Chief Executive Officer Mwendwa Ntarangwi said the kit is a self-audit arrangement that must be used by universities to ensure programmes being delivered to students meet the set quality standards.

“We are keen to ensure universities provide ODeL education that is credible and available to a wide group of students who are off or on-campus,” said Ntarangwi. Upon generating self-assessment reports as per the document, the suitability of the universities to offer online courses will be evaluated.

Speaking during a meeting on State of University Education in Kenya, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha challenged university managers to come up with ways of transforming their teaching practices in response to the unprecedented corona times and anticipate the future through creative use of technology.

“It is incumbent upon universities as the leaders in knowledge creation, research undertaking and innovation to find solutions to the myriad challenges in our society,” said Magoha.

Ntarangwi said the pandemic has thrown both public and private universities into uncertain waters since each is forced to move lessons online; a development that he said has also greatly impacted the institutions financially.

In addition to managing complex universities budgets, VCs were told to also develop ability to manage reductions in staffing, programmes and space.

“The university sub-sector has had to adjust and embrace digital learning platforms to ensure continuity of teaching and learning. It is now about time to fix quality,” said mr. Chacha, the CUE chairperson.

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