SPEECH

 

 BY

 

 PROF. LUCY W. IRUNGU

 

THE FIRST VICE CHANCELLOR, MACHAKOS UNIVERSITY

 

DURING THE 3RD GRADUATION CEREMONY ON 30TH FRIDAY, NOVEMBER, 2018 AT THE GRADUATION SQUARE AT 8:00A.M.

 

 

Salutation:

  • Chancellorof Machakos University, Dr. James Mworia
  • CabinetSecretary for Education, Amb. (D) Amina Mohammed
  • PrincipalSecretary State Department for University Education, Prof. Collette Sud
  • The chairman, Kenya National Examination Council, Professor. George Magoha and our guest speaker today.
  • Chairof the Council of Machakos University,  Gedion Hanjari
  • CouncilMembers present
  • Chancellorsand Vice Chancellors of other Universities
  • YourExcellencies, Deputy Governor Machakos County
  • The County Commissioner, Machakos County, Mr Galgalo
  • The Members of Parliament present
  • Members of County government present
  • Membersof Machakos University Management
  • Membersof University Senate
  • Staff
  • Invitedguests
  • Parents
  • Graduands
  • Ladiesand gentlemen,

 

Good Morning!

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this 3rd Graduation Ceremony of Machakos University. On behalf of the entire University community, and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to congratulate all graduands assembled here today.

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

Allow me to express our special gratitude to the chief guest and our guest speaker for finding time to come and celebrate this graduation function with us despite their two month long national examination engagement. Indeed we and the entire country celebrate them for their wonderful work.

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

Let me welcome and acknowledge the new council chairman, Professor Gideon Hanjari and our other two new members of the council. Machakos University is pleased to have them and look forward to working with them.

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

It is a great honor for me on this graduation day to be installed as the first Vice–Chancellor of Machakos University. I wish to express my gratitude to the Government of Kenya, through our parent Ministry and the University Council for appointing me. Sir, I accept this responsibility and leadership with profound humility though am quite cognizant of what an awesome challenge it is before me.

Recognitions and Appreciations

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

 

At a time of installation like this one is invariably forced to recall and acknowledge people who have played a fundamental role in one’s life. It is said “as one goes up on the professional ladder, one acquires many fathers, mentors and role models’’. I wish to therefore recognize my first mentors, my parents. Though they were civil servants, they served with humility and integrity and imparted to me these values. They were strict enforcers of right attitudes and hard work. I owe them the drive, the discipline and the virtues that I uphold and I dedicate this inauguration to them.

 

The graduation theme: Innovation for the Big Four Agenda

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

Allow me to explain why we chose innovation as our graduation theme. As a transformational scholar and educationist my considered view on education is one that inculcates innovation.

 

In the last centuries, the aim of education was to aspire to create a “perfect” citizenry. Later, it shifted to ensure that citizens were well-trained. Today, the ideal education embodies innovation and creativity. This is because we live in a world in “crisis, in a knowledge society, and in an era in which time is fluid, nothing lasts, everything changes, and is unstable.”

 

We should all be aware that in a few years to come, software technology will change the world. For example, it is said that Kodak had 170,000 employees 17 years ago and controlled 85% of photo paper business worldwide. At the moment, their business model has disappeared.  This will happen to many industries and the education sector may not escape this wave. Is it not amazing to think that ‘’Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and is now the biggest taxi company in the world!’’ It is now clear, with technology and innovation, “you can control everything but own nothing.

 

It is my contention Sir, that there can be no learning without re-learning and invention without innovation when we realize the weakness of what we thought we knew. It is my considered submission that education is due for innovation and technological change. Going by its theoretical and contextual foundation, a university education ought to have capacity and to be creative in an environment of eminent uncertainty.

 

I therefore envisage an education for society not society for education, a university education that addresses the dynamics of life in a community and the world, takes cognizance of innovation, creativity and the ever-changing technology. This is what I perceive of education, not only for Machakos University but for Kenya and the world as we embrace innovation for the Big Four Agenda.

Way forward

 

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

The University under my short leadership has and is still rationalizing and decentralizing various departments, directorates and schools to align itself for its core functions in line with new realities in the educational sector and industry. Our niche faculties of Engineering and Technology, Applied Sciences, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fashions Design and Marketing and Agricultural Sciences are being empowered to realize their potential and to blend with the Big Four Agenda.

In addition to addressing the Big Four Agenda, the University has established a Centre for Renewable Energy that will benefit the community, a Centre for Mining and Research and a Centre for Pedagogy and Andragogy is in the pipe line. We are also in the process of constructing modern teaching and administration building complex and a state of the art University Sports Complex. The University has entered into several MoUs and research Collaborations whose fulfillment will immensely benefit the University and Community.

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

I shall spearhead and focus my work not only as spelled out in Machakos University Strategic Plan 2017-2022 but largely on rationalization of structures and realigning Academic Programmes, Research and Community Service as our core mandate. I will embark on the improvement of learning facilities and quality of teaching, which may entail review of current curricula and the designing of new programmes.

 

 

To the Graduating class of 2018

Mr. Chancellor Sir,

The graduating class of 2018 have a total of 1465 graduands. They include14 Masters, 1115  Bachelors, 288 Diplomas and 48 Certificates. They have satisfied both board of examiners and the University Senate for the conferment of the various degrees and award of diplomas and certificates.

My word of advice to you graduands:

As you move out of the comfort zone of this University, I want you to always be proactive, follow your passion and take action as to achieve anything in life.

Whiford provides, a very beautiful advice on the need for taking actions in life and I quote “Take action. Every story you’ve ever heard, every leader you’ve ever admired, and every little thing you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.”  Therefore, you should be aware that in the coming days, it will depend on your own individual efforts and actions for you to succeed in life. We wish you the best.

Finally, Sir, I want to thank the University Council, for providing the policy framework, strategic direction and stewardship despite many challenges. Above all, I thank the government of Kenya for its continued support and guidance to this University and its leadership.

 

I wish to greatly appreciate the faculty and staff for serving this University diligently. I thank each and every one of them for their consistent and focused hard work. I urge them to never tire of this noble calling for the good of Machakos University and the Country.

I thank the parents and guardians for supporting the young people graduating today; your work has not been in vain. To our gradaunds, as you pursue your careers be our goodwill ambassadors. I welcome you to join our Alumni and give back to your alma mater.

 

MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU.

 

I THANK YOU VERY MUCH!