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Delegation From Windle International Kenya Visit MMUST in a Bid to Assess the Welfare of DAFI, Windle Sponsored Scholars

The WIK team comprising Ms. Christine Naishorua- Counselling psychologist, Mr. Samuel Muriuki- scholarship officer, and Mr. Isako Huka- Finance Officer, paid a courtesy call to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning, Research and Innovation (DVC-PRI), Prof. Charles Mutai.   They discussed an array of issues including the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim of exploring research as well as working together to meet the needs of those they serve.  Other issues that came up during the meeting included the welfare of students, students’ finance as well as increasing the visibility of the University in Daadab and Kakuma.

“We are happy that we have been working together and we look forward to renewing our MoU so that we can do more together. As we delve deeper in our consultations regarding what to be featured in this MoU, we can think around making use of our pool of staff in the issues of research as well as consultancy services,” said Prof. Mutai.

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Visitors from Windle International Kenya, MMUST staff and students during the courtesy call to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning, research and Innovation, Prof. Charles Mutai.

In an effort to understand the welfare of the students, the group held a meeting that attracted key persons from the University including the Ag. Registrar Academic Affairs, Prof. Thomas Sakwa, Deputy Finance Officer, Mr. Elkanah Kinyor,  Director PSSP, Prof. Benedict Alala, the Officer in-charge of students admissions- Ms. Pamela Inzayi, Senior accountant, Mr. Fredrick Onaya, the University Medical Officer, Mr. Victor Nambami as well as the student's counselor, Ms. Pauline Adhiambo from the Office of Dean of Students.

The meeting provided an ideal platform for the sponsors, students as well as the University through its representation, to discuss the DAFI students’ welfare. Some of the issues raised included the admission of new students, online reporting of students, students’ finance, academics, availability of counselors as well as medical services.

Speaking during the meeting, the Ag. Registrar of Academic Affairs, Prof. Thomas Sakwa emphasized the need for students to pay their tuition fees as directed by the institution. “Fee delayed is service denied,” said Prof. Sakwa, adding that a lot of institutional services require that money is brought in early. 

Concerning academic transcripts and certificates, Prof. Sakwa informed the meeting of the provision of the University policy, noting that the two are personal documents that should be collected in person, upon proper identification of an individual. “Contradictions of names can easily make a student not collect his or her own certificate. That is why, as we prepare for graduation we fill out the graduation application form, which allows the applicant to correctly indicate their names as they wish to appear on the certificates. The names must be similar to that of the document to be used for identification during its collection. Additionally, it is important to note that DIAL signs off on all certificates for international students as well as transcripts, and issues to the respective,” he said. 

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Dr. Rose  Opiyo, gifts Ms. Christine Naishorua from Windle International Kenya.

Responding to the concerns of students reporting and registration of units, Prof. Sakwa stated that his office communicates through memos, and he expects the students to act as instructed. “Registration of courses is usually done by the 4th week upon payment of 50% of school fees and by doing this, the system will automatically put a student on the nominal roll. However, if one fails to register during this period, they will be forced to pay 100% of school fees in the 8th week of the semester, to register for the same courses,” he explained. Prof. Sakwa advised the students to adopt a culture of putting in writing whatever issues of concern they have for further consultation with relevant offices.

The issues on the equation of certificates also came up, as the participants took note of the high charges of the exercise and the long duration before completion of the process. Prof. Sakwa responded by saying that the process is fundamental in the admission of international students. “We are aware of the cost implications on the equation of certificates and we are working on developing a policy that will deliberate some of these issues. In the meantime, we will negotiate with the commission so that we work with the relevant offices for assistance,” said Prof. Sakwa.

The officer in charge of admissions, Ms. Pamela Inzai noted that the University is re-engineering the admission process in an effort to simplify it. “Today, we have an online application that we use for admission of students but I trust that in the future, we will have a simpler way of this, including admitting the international students,” she stated.  

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Mr. Isako Huka receiving a gift from DIAL office.

“We have a  medical facility within the University that offers outpatient services to all students. When a student needs inpatient services, they are required to seek these services outside the University as well as meet the costs. However, this is exceptional for emergency cases since we respond first and then follow up with the guardians later on.  It is also important to note that the University takes care of the costs for its international students engaging in sports, in the event that an emergency arises,” said Mr. Victor Nambami from the University clinic. He also pointed out that the clinic offers a 24-hour service as well as ambulance services.   

Notably, the students sought clarification on the scarcity of sexual protection devices. Mr. Victor Nambami confirmed that the scarcity is a challenge nationwide saying that they are not issuing them like they used to.

The Ag. Director, DIAL, Dr. Opiyo concurred saying that cheap is expensive.  She advised the students to abstain or if necessary, purchase these gadgets to protect themselves. “It is real! I encourage you to protect yourselves for it will be painful for you to keep toiling and then the next day you are no more,” she stated.

Further, she noted that the University has eleven DAFI-sponsored students out of the many International students sponsored by other institutions. Come Friday 9th December 2022, three students benefiting from the WIK will be graduating!

By Caren Nekesa
Photos by Wilberforce Shiundu

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