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HomeEDUCATIONDiploma Expectations Destroyed: The Three-Year Tragedy at Meru University

Diploma Expectations Destroyed: The Three-Year Tragedy at Meru University

Diploma Expectations Destroyed: The Three-Year Tragedy at Meru University

More than seven hundred diploma students at Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) face a dismal and uncertain future due to the institution’s failure to issue them certificates long after they completed their respective courses.

Most affected is the class of 2020, which joined MUST to pursue diploma courses under the TVET CDACC program, which, like all diploma courses advertised on the institution’s website, lasts two years.

They contend that they should have graduated with the 10th class of March 2023, whose names are listed on the MUST website. We have not seen the names or admission letters of any graduates from the affected cohort.

With few or no options left, they now observe helplessly as their labor is wasted.

Concerningly, however, other cohorts of students pursuing various diploma courses under the TVET CDACC program are likely to suffer the same fate if the issue is not resolved promptly.

Njeri* (not her actual name), a student enrolled in the TVET Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) at MUST, is extremely nervous. She has not received verifiable grades throughout her entire academic career, and she has failed to adhere to her study schedules.

She enrolled in the school in 2020 with the intention of completing the Information, Communication, and Technology program in 2022, but she did not. No one in her approximately fifty-member cohort graduated either. “I received my first grade in May 2023, during my freshman year,” she declares.

In a tragic twist of fate, Nancy’s May of that year transcript lacked all unit grades and was riddled with errors. In addition, she was told that KNEC, not TVET CDACC, which had supervised her studies, should have provided the results.

This week, administration informed me that we have been transferred from KNEC to the TVET CDACC branch. The administration is uncertain about our grade point averages. “I took the initiative to visit the KNEC offices to inquire if they are the ones who will give us the diploma, and they informed me that the relationship between KNEC and CDACC is analogous to a come-and-stay arrangement, and that they do not have the authority to give us the certificate or result slip,” she explains.

Currently, the university provides each student with a result sheet that reads, “This is not an editable transcript.”

Nancy’s provisional transcripts indicate that she has missing grades and must retake the examinations in July 2023.

She is however concerned about the impending uncertainty surrounding the upcoming exams. “Unit examinations for missing grades will be administered in July. I have no notion when the event will start. She contemplates, “I don’t have the funds, so how can you tell me to retake the exams?”

We attempted to contact the administration to inquire about the forthcoming exams in July, but they instructed us to wait for word from the TVET CDACC.

On 11 March 2023, the university conducted a commencement ceremony to award degrees and diplomas to graduates, but Nancy and other TVET CDACC students were unexpectedly excluded.

The ICT diploma candidate enrolled through the KUCCPS portal and was required to pay between Sh19,000 and Sh23,000 per semester in addition to Sh5,600 for exams.

“We paid for examinations for which no results were provided. Exams were branded with the TVET CDACC logo, and examiners belonged to the same organization.”It is still unclear how the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) got involved,” she says.

David Njeng’ere, the KNEC’s chief executive officer, clarified to GossipA2Z that the council had assumed control of TVET CDACC, but distanced itself from claims of a delayed completion.

“KNEC took over the TVET CDACC assessment function in July of last year,” he answered. Nonetheless, the vice-chancellor of MUST has access to all pertinent data. He should respond to questions about student graduation.

Mr. Ochenge*, the second affected student, enlisted at Meru University in November 2022 to pursue a Diploma in Mechatronics, which he intended to finish in two academic years.

After two and a half years, he reports that he is behind schedule and that his path has taken an unexpected, unprecedented turn.

“Each academic year consisted of three semesters, and we concluded our coursework and began an internship in July of the previous year. We expected to graduate at the end of last year or the beginning of this year,” he explains.

Now, when Ochenge and his companions receive their first exam results in April of this year, the likelihood of graduating seems improbable.

“On a government-sponsored basis, I took 21 units and paid Ksh 114,000 for the entire program, while self-funded students paid a slightly higher fee,” he explains.

However, three years later, the class of 41 pupils in mechatronics has been discontinued.

In June 2021, the students in Ochenge’s class will not know their grades because they have took the first exam but have not yet received the results.

The administration, commanded by a TVET director, urged them repeatedly to be patient as the TVET CDACC processed and released the results.

“We contacted the school’s registrar, vice-chancellor, and other administrators, who claimed they had no jurisdiction over TVET as it was a government entity. We were somewhat persuaded by the fact that those completing the diploma under MUST have no problems,” he states.

Evans states that the teaching and setting of the exams was conducted by MUST lecturers, but that an external organization, TVET CDACC, was responsible for evaluating the exam’s standards and administering it.

The student in mechatronics notes that the 2020 cohort was the first to participate in the TVET CDACC program.

“We are perplexed because our first exams were in March-April 2021, and our second exams were in September. We initiated the request for our results in 2022, but we have yet to receive them. The administration informed us immediately after the August 2022 elections that we had been transferred from TVET CDACC to KNEC, and it wasn’t until April 2023, after a student uprising, that the university provided us with a provisional transcript with missing units,” he says, adding that they expected KNEC to provide them with all of their results once they had completed the industrial attachment.

Mr. Thiaine Kubaison, the director of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at MUST, stated, “The problem is not with the institution.”

According to him, KNEC was given the CDACC’s responsibilities in response to a presidential directive.

Recently, they were reinstated. Uncertainty exists regarding who should administer examinations. This confusion is detrimental to schools and students.”

They had access to our results and reports when their responsibilities altered. As you are aware, an examination body cannot share results with a council,” he continued, clarifying that the CDACC examination system operates similarly to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), in which students must pass all exams in order to graduate. “Those who meet these criteria will graduate in October of this year.”

Diploma Expectations Destroyed: The Three-Year Tragedy at Meru University

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