Virtual Graduation Has Degraded The Pride And Glory Of Higher Learning Education
Written by Odhiambo Shem on February 11, 2022
By Simon Onyango:
Until March 2020, things were okay in our learning Institutions, learning was running smoothly and transition from one level to another was done normally, with the arrival of Covid19 in the country, everything changed , all sectors of economy were negatively affected, more so, the sector of education – schools were closed abruptly, rules emerged to help contain the spread of novel pandemic – maintaining social distance, washing hands regularly , wearing masks, sanitizing, so on and so forth.
We knew this could come to an end as fast as possible, but this was like daydreaming – it became the New World Order – New Normal, we had no otherwise but just to adapt to these novel styles of living because the Covid19 rampaged the globe.
For the first time in the history of this country, learning activities began moving on digital platforms – graduation ceremonies in our Colleges and Universities were not left behind, but for how long? The pride in our higher learning institutions has degraded – we don’t see the value of a student being awarded or accredited with his or her Diploma/Degree.
Back then, if you were gifted to attend any physical graduation ceremony – maybe of your brother or sister, you could learn the pride , glory and essence of having such ceremonies physically, it was full of “nyadhi” – the pride, and this motivated even the disadvantaged in the society to work hard and ascend to higher learning institutions to pursue their dreams hoping to celebrate their hard-earned efforts – this skyrocketed the value of higher learning education.
Yes, we want to contain the spread of this pandemic, but it should not be a added advantage to deny these suffering students to commemorate their hard-earned efforts, politicians are running up and down – organizing political campaigns, the number of people who attend these rallies cannot be measured with number of people needed to attend a graduation ceremony, why are some colleges and universities bias to their graduands? I can recall very well having an interview with one of our local vice chancellors, he made it clear that virtual graduation is cheaper than the physical one and therefore does not cost the Universities much. His response never satisfied me!
Let’s take a look at Maseno University, before the coming of Covid19, Undergraduates used to pay Shs. 5,500 ( which still ,I don’t understand why it cost that much, anyway, it is a story for another day) as a graduation fees, having shared with one of the students from Maseno University who is yet to virtually graduate on 25th this month, the graduation fees is still intact (5500/=), why cone these students who are stressed up with this stressing economy? I mean, Colleges and Universities should stop trading with students.
I therefore urge the Ministry of Education and relevant authorities to chip in, in our higher learning institutions to bring back the pride and glory of higher learning education.