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MKU wins national awards for excellence in use of ICT

Mount Kenya University scooped four prizes in the annual ICT Value Awards held last night in Nairobi. And for the second year running, the institution walked away with the overall award, beating a strong field that included other institutions of higher learning, media houses, government ministries, county governments, parastatals, non-governmental organisations and private organizations.

Besides the overall ICT award, MKU also won the Digital and Virtual Learning Excellence award (for the success of the Virtual Campus, which has now rebranded to Virtual Varsity), Best Use of ICT in Education, and ICT Manager of the Year award, which went to Mr. Joseph Mworia, the ICT Director.

“This is a historic day,” said Prof. Chegge Mungai, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Student Welfare and Marketing, who represented the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo at the glamorous event. “We are humbled with the recognition from industrial professionals through these coveted awards.” MKU has in the last three years been gradually rolling out a comprehensive and integrated ICT platform that harmonises the efficient delivery of services to all our clients. Though initiated at Thika Main Campus, the ICT platform has been replicated in all 14 Campuses, thus improving efficiency, cutting costs, and enhancing the overall user experience.

“Our digital learning platform, delivered through the Virtual Varsity was also among the first to be rolled out in Kenya,” said Prof. Chegge. “In only three years, we have served more than 10,000 students thanks to the efficiency brought about by utilizing ICT.”

The university’s Information Management System enables staff, administrators and lecturers to retrieve or input records in real time. Prospective students can also make their applications for enrolment online, pay fees as well as interact with their contemporaries and lecturers in real time. “We are looking forward to improving this system to add even more possibilities,” said Prof. Chegge, who was accompanied in the event by Dr. Philemon Bureti, the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Ms. Virginia Mutheu, Director of Virtual Varsity and Mr. Boniface Murigi, Director-Marketing among other senior members of staff in MKU.

ICT Director Joseph Mworia, who co-jointly with Mr. Joseph Muritu won the overall ICT Manager of the Year award, said the university is in the process of developing a mobile phone application that will enable seamless delivery of a variety of services through hand-held devices. “MKU will continue appropriating technology that makes a difference.” Other winners during the event were the Communications Commission of Kenya (Digital Inclusion Excellence), Best Business Solution (Novel Technologies), Best Use of ICT in Banking (Family), Best Use of ICT in Print Media (Nation Media Group), and Best Use of ICT in Insurance (Jubilee). “The delivery of laptops to primary school pupils will transform the learning landscape,” said Amb Prof. Julius Bitok, who was the chief guest. “I’m challenging learning institutions to come up with even more applications that will see the success of this digital learning.”

Kamotho Njenga, Secretary General, ICT Association of Kenya, the organisers of the event, said the success of ICT programmes is not measured by their complexity, but by their ability to find solutions to existing problems.

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