News from the Directorate
As we draw towards the end of the second semester of 2016/2017 academic year, I wish to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the successes we have achieved and misfortunes which have befallen us. First and foremost, I wish to thank the student fraternity led by the able SATUK Council for maintaining general peace and tranquility which provided the requisite enabling environment for smooth and undisrupted learning. I am aware that it has not been easy on many fronts in so far as student leadership is concerned, but SATUK Council has done their best to help the institution move forward towards realizing its mandate. We are proud to acknowledge that SATUK officials organized and led our students in the first ever peaceful demonstration by a public university in Kenya to protest the killing of one comrade, Francis Karani, a second year students who was pursuing Bachelor of Technology degree in Applied Chemistry. Our office takes this opportunity to acknowledge the good work done by SATUK council, and on behalf of the Directorate, I pass our sincere regards and felicitation to them.
Despite an earlier interruption occasioned by the university lecturers’ industrial action, the semester picked up and ran well without any disruption. We are happy to report that in this semester our university made its pitch in the 15th Exhibition by Kenyan Universities which was held at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Once again our students presented an array of show-stopping technological innovations that left a positive impression on the public and guests, among them the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Fred Matiang’i. In this same semester the drama troupe participated in the Metropolitan Regional Drama competition where they scooped awards in six out of eight categories. They went on to win trophies at The Kenya National Drama Festivals in the following categories: The Best Mime (Holy Plant, performed by Beatrice Njeri - the current Miss TUK); The Best Narrative (Bathelomeo, performed by Brenda Oloo and Harrin Amusala); and The Best Upcoming Actress (won by Melisa Kasaba). Besides, our sports men and women have continued to tower in various tournaments and leagues across the country. We can single out two exemplary performances: The first one that deserves special mention is the performance by Joyce Nyaruai during the East African Chase Open Championship held in Mombasa where she emerged as the overall winner in the women’s category. Secondly, we also wish to congratulate the men’s Handball team for winning the KUSA Nairobi South Conference league and for being the first runners-up in the Kenya Handball Federation JBM Tournament Western Edition. These students have done us proud and they deserve our accolade!
Our university is also proud and happy to have received a donation of a CF6 80A2 aircraft engine from General Electric (GE) Aviation (USA) through the facilitation of Kenya Airways. This piece of high-tech equipment will afford our Aerospace Aviation Engineering students the opportunity of hands-on training on this valuable aviation device. Additionally, we also received two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) through the European Union Horizon 2020 Project known as Its4Land. The drones will be used by students in conducting research on the use of technologies for improving land tenure security in East Africa. These events, plus others not mentioned here, are indicators of a university on the move towards the realization of our motto: Education and training for the real world.
On the flip side, I am grieved to report that in this very semester, we have lost nine of our students to the cruel and cold hands of death. This is indeed a huge number to lose in just one semester! While every death is painful, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the late Karani whose life was cut short by a stray bullet in an unfortunate incident at Mlango Kubwa in Mathare, an incident which also left his colleague with trauma and bullet wounds. May the souls of all our departed comrades rest in eternal peace. On this note, I wish to appeal to all our students to avoid seeking residence in hostels situated in unsafe areas which are prone to criminal activities. All our students are therefore advised to consult with the Directorate to help you find affordable residence in safe and secure neighborhoods.
Lastly, as you begin your end of semester exams, we wish you the best of luck. We know that you have been adequately prepared to take the examinations and therefore there is no need to panic or engage in any irresponsible, unethical and illegal academic practices such as being in possession of prohibited material in the examination room. Remember that, examinations provide an opportunity for you to show how much you have learnt and not how much you can cheat! Perhaps you should take your time to look at the examination regulations one more time. As a reminder, for these exams, you only need your student identification card, your examination card and a pen and pencil.
Finally, the Directorate of Students Support Services shall continue to serve you to the best of our ability and you are always invited to come and share with us your campus experience.
Omondi Oketch, Ph.D.; MA; BE.d
Associate Professor of Linguistics &
Director Students Support Services