President William Ruto’s government is set to unveil a National Open University which will offer affordable online courses to Kenyans.
The Plan received a boost on Tuesday October 18 when the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms called for reviews of the institution’s operationalization.
President Ruto had directed the task force to recommend criteria to implement an open university in Kenya.
“To recommend a framework of operationalizing the National Open University of Kenya and a framework on Open, Distance and E-line learning (ODEL),” Ruto directed.
The university is set to target Kenyans who have other commitments as it will offer courses on a part-time basis.
Notably, the virtual learning university was one of the promises Ruto made during the campaign leading up to the August 9 election.
Ruto stated during the signing of the Kenya Kwanza Education Charter in June that his government would prioritize the institution’s operationalization in his first 100 days in office.
“We undertake that the university which will improve access to university education will be set in our first 100 days. As Kenya Kwanza, we believe that we can offer a course that is virtual, accessible and that will give people an opportunity to people even who are not at a student going age at a most effective way,” President Ruto said in June.
However, the conception of the university dates back to the administration of the late President Mwai Kibaki in 2010, when Ruto was the minister of higher education.
During President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, outgoing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i made similar proposals while serving in the education docket. However, the plans failed to get off the ground.
Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Tanzania, have open universities that prioritize technological courses.