The government is set to open the Kenya National Open University by September this year at Konza Technopolis as one of its’ flagship projects.
Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the virtual university aims to enhance access to affordable university education.
“Once the institution becomes functional, it will make university education more affordable, accessible, and attainable to all students, no matter their location or income levels,” said Owalo.
The CS, who was speaking at a Nairobi hotel Monday when presenting a report on the One-Year Status Report of the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy, said plans were also at an advanced stage to operationalize the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kenya-AIST) at Konza Technopolis.
He said the institution that is still under construction and scheduled to open this year will be entrusted with a national strategic ICT-inclined mission to offer postgraduate programmes in advanced science and technology.
Owalo announced that the Ministry, in collaboration with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, plans to equip the training institutes with a total of 23,000 digital devices, adding that a total of 8,159 digital devices have already been supplied to 112 institutions.
The CS said as of July 31st this year, a total of 77 Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions were supplied with 6,700 virtual desktops; four universities received 400 units; one community centre and twenty-one schools received 100 each; and eight ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and one county government got 100 and five virtual desktops, respectively.
He said the Ministry had linked 109,000 youth from the Ajira programme directly to digital jobs, which included business process outsourcing companies based in Ndhiwa, Mbeere, Kirinyaga, Central, Mombasa, and Nairobi.
“We have equally trained a total of 336,000 youth on digital jobs, under the Ajira Digital Programme and formed and institutionalised 74 Ajira digital clubs, which are sustainable platforms,” he added.
The CS added that the Ministry is driving digital skills and job creation through the Ajira and Jitume programmes with the aim of equipping citizens with technical and vocational digital education and digital skills for digitally enabled jobs.