February 9, 2016: The Catholic University of Eastern Africa has signed an agreement with the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) which will see diploma graduates from KIMC complete a degree in Kiswahili and Communication at CUEA.
The extra qualification in the Kiswahili language will help the students who mostly work as journalists to easily get jobs. According to Prof. Clara Momanyi, the HoD Kiswahili at CUEA, the Kiswahili language has gone beyond the borders of East Africa. At the MoU signing, she said that Kiswahili is being taught in Germany, Japan and some states in USA.
Prof. Clara Momanyi, the initiator of the partnership stated,” Kiswahili ni lugha ya kimataifa, sio lugha ya kuwaendea watu chini tena; hivi sasa ina soko kubwa sana” (Kiswahili is now an international language, not for reaching only the lowly and now has a vast market).
The department of Kiswahili (under Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) developed a Bachelor of Arts in Kiswahili and Communication, in recognition of the need for good knowledge of the Kiswahili language for purposes of communication in various sectors. The Commission for University Education (CUE) approved the programme.
This degree, the first of its kind in our university education system, seeks to develop communication experts in Kiswahili, which is Kenya’s first official language as documented in Article 7 of Kenya’s Constitution (2010). It is envisioned that the graduates from this programme will not only be equipped in Kiswahili studies but will also be well versed in the technical aspects of language in relation to communication.
To realise this, CUEA has partnered with Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) to offer the programme. KIMC is equipped with modern facilities for training in the fields of electronic and telecommunication engineering, film production, radio and television production, print and broadcast journalism, electronic and studio technology. It will offer the resources for the practical aspects of the course while CUEA will offer skills in communicative competence and theory.
During the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony at KIMC, the heads of both institutions echoed their commitment to work together to contribute to the quality of higher education in the region.
The Director of Academic Linkages, Rev. Prof. Peter I. Gichure pointed out that the partnership, between a government and public institution was a confirmation that institutions can work together. He expressed hope to have many other working ventures with KIMC. The chair of the KIMC alumni, Mr. Muitiriri (a radio presenter at Radio Maisha) referred to the partnership as a new beginning especially for KIMC alumni, who now have an opportunity to advance their education to a Bachelor’s level upon completion of their Diploma studies at KIMC.
Mr. Hiram Mucheke, the KIMC Director said that the two institutions have the potential to work together and other ways of collaboration would be pursued in due course.
Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha, the Chairman of the KIMC Council emphasised that “kutumia Kiswahili nikuajibika … lugha ya Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi na pia ya taifa”(speaking in Kiswahili is doing the right thing, Kiswahili is an official and national Language). CUEA’s Vice Chancellor, Msgr. Dr. Pius Rutechura, assured KIMC of its commitment to offer the best in meeting objectives of the partnership.
The Memorandum of Understanding will allow KIMC and CUEA to, among other aspects: jointly train students who will graduate as professionals in the area of Kiswahili and Communication, use their resources (both human and material) in training students and thus offer them the best of what each institution has and conduct joint research for purposes of improving delivery of the programme.
The agreement was signed by the VC Msgr. Dr Pius Rutechura together with the Director KIMC, Mr. Hiram Mucheke and witnessed by Rev. Prof. Peter Gichure, Director Academic Linkages CUEA, and Prof Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha, the Chairman, KIMC Council.
Lecturers from CUEA’s department of Kiswahili and other members of staff representing University Registry, Corporate Communications and Academic Linkages functions attended the function. KIMC lecturers were also present.