NAIROBI, April 11 (Xinhua) -- University dons from across the world will be able to lecture students in Kenya following plans by the government to establish a National Open University of Kenya (NOUK).
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said Tuesday in Nairobi that talks to finalize the setting up of the institution are in the final phase.
The institution, as stated by Matiang'i, will give academicians from all over the world an opportunity to offer part-time services and online interaction with Kenyan students.
Matiang'i also noted that the Open University will also bring to an end school-based programs mostly undertaken by the primary and secondary school teachers during holidays.
The school-based programs were among the contentious issues highlighted during the recent nationwide comprehensive forensic quality audit.
The Commission for University Education, Kenya had recommended that the program be scrapped and become part of the part-time programs offered by the universities to adhere to the stipulated guidelines of the Commission.
According to Matiang'i, the school-based program did not give learners adequate contact hours or to undertake research and hence the need to have the institution in the country.
"The open university is one of our key strategies to curb challenges in the school based mode of university teaching and learning. The Open University would provide scholars from all over the world, especially Kenyans in the Diaspora, with an opportunity to lecture and interact with the local-based students thus promoting fruitful academic exchanges and research dissemination."
He said that NOUK would enhance access to university education through an open and distance learning mode. Countries that have establish National Open Universities in the continent include Tanzania and South Africa.
The Tanzanian institution was established in 1994 and it has gradually grown to become the first Open University in the east African region to fully offer educational programs on open and distance learning mode.
"You may need to note that the Open University of Tanzania has more students than those in all the other universities in Tanzania," said Rashid Kajembe, a student leader at one of the universities in Tanzania.