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Universities and the business sector will create curricula

Universities and the business sector will create curricula

Universities are collaborating with private organizations to create curricula in an effort to better educate students for the changing employment market.

In order to improve the Computer Science degree program at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and make it more pertinent to market demands, Microsoft’s Africa Development Center will collaborate with JKUAT.

Other Kenyan universities that provide technical courses will be included in the curriculum revision effort.

During technical interviews, the project also seeks to address students’ skill gaps in software engineering.

The program, according to Robert Kinyua, deputy vice chancellor for academic affairs at JKUAT, aims to increase researchers’ marketability as the need for tech-based services develops.

Despite the fact that technology companies are increasingly looking for talent, many of them are unable to hire straight out of college because recent grads are typically equipped with theoretical knowledge rather than the crucial practical skills in software engineering.

Labor market
“For the employment market, graduates from universities need to have specialized skills. We want someone who has a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science, for instance, to be able to use data analytics, the Internet of Things, or artificial intelligence. According to Prof. Kinyua, this can only be accomplished if private enterprises are involved in the certification process.

The new strategy, he continued, will expand students’ skill sets and ensure that the abilities they acquire suit the actual needs of partner companies because every company does business in a particular way.

So, the program will save private companies money and time that would have been spent retraining recent grads.

Microsoft is not likely to employ software developed by Huawei in the networking industry, for example, according to Prof. Kinyua.

“Yet, instruction given to students in a classroom is generic and homogeneous. Students that use Microsoft systems while in school are more easily hired by the corporation once they graduate. The pupils already have what the business need.

He continued by saying that Huawei sells a lot of gear to telecom firms including Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom.

“If you visit Safaricom for networking and possess a Huawei certification, you will be more marketable than someone who does not possess a certification.”

Courses relating to STEM
Microsoft claimed that by collaborating with JKUAT to examine the school’s tech curriculum, it would give students studying STEM-related courses access to modern tools, courses, and exams that would aid in their development of practical tech skills that they can utilize in the workplace.

In order to prepare students pursuing disciplines other than technology for the changing employment market, Prof. Kinyua stated JKUAT has started various relationships with private enterprises in the form of bootcamps, exchange programs, hackathons, and incubation.

Yet, JKUAT is not the only higher education institution expanding its collaborations with commercial enterprises.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has already authorized the short courses in coding and computational thinking that Kenyatta University will be offering in cooperation with Kodris Africa (KICD).

The Technical University of Mombasa established a partnership with Gyeonggi University of Science & Technology and Korean electric vehicle manufacturer CEVO Mobility.

In order to increase Kenya’s capacity for making vehicles, the cooperation will involve staff and student exchange programs.

In addition, it will look into related topics including renewable energy and the blue economy.

A masterplan for developing Android developer skills that would target 10,000 students in 50 Technical, Vocational, and Educational institutions was only recently collaborated on by Google Kenya and the Ministry of Education.

The alliance aims to boost the continent’s professional developer population.

Students have been able to hone their abilities through these collaborative programs by developing real-world solutions while being supervised by business executives.

Even before they graduate, learners have been given jobs in businesses through incubator programs.

But, according to Prof. Kinyua, carrying out such actions is expensive.

The government’s cut in funding for public universities, he continued, could make it challenging to give a high-quality education even while these institutions look for alternate revenue streams.

Higher education institutions have struggled to offer quality services as a result of freezes or decreases in public financing, he claimed.

“Due to the difficult economic conditions, parents are finding it difficult to pay the cost of education passed down to them.”

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