SPEECH BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, MACHAKOS UNIVERSITY, DURING VIRTUAL ORIENTATION FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS HELD ON 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2020
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- ACKNOWLEGEMENT, GREETINGS AND CONGRATULATION
Deputy Vice Chancellors
Deans and Directors
Members of Staff
Ladies and Gentlemen Good Morning!
On behalf of Machakos University, it is my great pleasure to welcome our First-Year students to the University. I congratulate each one of you for your good performance in your secondary examinations and also for securing admission at Machakos University.
2. THE MACHAKOS UNIVERSITY
Machakos University is currently the only public University in Machakos County. It is located about a kilometer away from the town centre, along the Wote / Konza road. It has a population of about 10,000 students and 500 members of staff. Our vision is to be the preferred university of excellence in scholarship and service delivery. Our mission is to provide scholarly education through training, research and innovation for industrial and socio-economic transformation of our communities. Our core values include integrity, accountability, professionalism, inclusivity, team work and equity. In terms of Governance Structure, the University is headed by the Chancellor, the University Council, the University Management Board and the Senate.
The management and operations of the University are guided by the Charter which was awarded on establishment and Statutes, policies, guidelines, rules and regulations that have been developed. As students, you are expected to familiarize yourselves with the policies, guidelines, rules and regulations which will guide you stay at the university.
3. THE 2020 ADMISSION PROCESS
This year’s admission to the University is happening at a time when we are grappling with the Covid 19 pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted activities in all sectors of the society. Learning institutions were closed in March and we are all forced to go virtual. This was in order to comply with measures and protocols that are required to mitigate and prevent the spread of the disease, before the educational institutions in Kenya can reopen for teaching and learning face to face.
As we transform to digital operational environments, Machakos University has implemented e- learning. The University has adopted blended learning mode of teaching and learning. This means that you will combine both online and face to face sessions in accessing your learning activities. The ICT infrastructure has been put in place to facilitate e-learning with an appropriate Learning Management System (LMS). It is important to mention that all our lecturers and technical staff have been trained to teach and provide the necessary support online. All our students too including you, the first years are going to be trained on the use of the Learning Management System.
4. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME AT MACHAKOS UNIVERSITY
One of the great things about University life is the range of new experiences that will be available to you. You will have abundant opportunities to flourish as a student and as a person. At the University, you will have opportunities to undertake academic activities which are the core of being a student. Most of your programs have an attachment or practical as an integral component, ensuring that the world of learning is intertwined with the world of work. You will also have opportunities to undertake research and explore your innovative prowess under the guidance of our Research, Innovations and Linkages division. In addition, you have the opportunity to give back to the community, through our outreach programmes. There are also extra-curricular activities that you will engage in such a sports and a variety of clubs and societies as you were informed by the Dean of students.
At Machakos University you will have the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills, new friends and expand your networks. All these will enhance your professional and social life by the time you exit the University as a graduate, ready to contribute to society.
Initially, you will be given a lot of information just as you have encountered during the two weeks of orientation. This may confuse you at the beginning but things will eventually fall in place as you adjust to campus life with the assistance of the students ahead of you. You will be expected to take full responsibility of your life on campus. You will not hear any bells but you are required to attend lectures and tutorials, do assignments, sit for CATS and exams. In other words, learning is less structured but with the freedom, comes greater responsibility. It is therefore essential that you plan well for all your activities.
We also expect you to comply with the COVID-19 health protocols. In addition, we expect you not only to have the necessary ICT devices like laptops to facilitate your blended-learning but to develop and enhance your ICT skills as well.
With all these changes, Machakos University is well equipped to see you through. Our academic and support staff will provide you with the opportunity to learn, acquire new knowledge, develop new skills and enhance your personal attributes in your academic journey. We shall also seek to enhance your academic life through extra-curricular activities such as games, sports, music.
6. WORD OF CAUTION
As you are aware, the world is now digital and social media permeates all sectors of society. There is therefore need to be cautious with what you post on these social media because they may come to haunt you later in life. Whenever there are issues of dispute we advise and prefer for dialogue and negotiations before you resort to social media. The University will not tolerate any student who runs to social media or any other platform to seek redress outside the laid down procedures of solving issues at the University. As students, you have to abide by the law and if you infringe laws like cyber crimes or hacking etc, the long hand of the law will catch up with you. I also call upon you to desist from betting activities and drug abuse. I therefore advise you to obey the law and avoid any illegal activities in whatever form that can land you in trouble
I would like to conclude by emphasizing that at Machakos University, our services are focused on the student as the main stakeholder. We consider your experience and success here at the University as central to our core business of teaching, research and community service. You are beginning a new chapter in your life and I therefore urge you to be responsible and accountable for all your actions.
Finally, I would like to let you know that the university has put in place structures to support you in your academic journey. These include offices such as that of the Registrar Academic and Student Affairs, Dean of students, Schools, Departments, Career Services, Counselling, Security, Health services and the student union (SAMU),
With these few remarks, I wish you success as you embark on your academic journey and I am confident that you will have a fulfilling and holistic experience at Machakos University.
Thank you and GOD Bless You.