Green Energy project targeting low-income households kicks off at KAFUCO
Plans to set up a green energy production and research enterprise at Kaimosi Friends University College have advanced.
The establishment of a production unit and office space for the Eco-Gel Enterprise has begun, paving way for a project expected to transform lives in rural Kenya and the East African region.
The project should have kicked off in January but was put off due to effects of Covid-19.
Expected impact to the universities include strengthened research and research publications, attraction of research funds, and internship opportunities for students.
To the local communities the cheaper thick liquid gel extracted from fruit peelings presents a smokeless alternative biofuel innovated to reduce Kenya’s reliance on carbon fuels, which add to pollution and kill many. It is touted to have a Higher Heat Value than liquefied petroleum gas.
The project supported by BioInnovate Africa is a collaboration between KAFUCO and Maseno University. Other collaborators include the Lake Basin Development Authority, the Tropical Pesticide Research Institute and Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation.
Our Principal Prof Ogodo J.M Nandi on Thursday July 2, 2020 received the first batch of equipment meant for establishing the enterprise and was inducted on the project.
Prof Nandi hailed the collaboration as a significant step toward meeting the very essence of university of university education – research and research publication.
Dr Benson Nyambega, a partner from Maseno University explained that the enterprise will churn out 1000 litres of the bioalkanol gel into the country every week at its peak. Expansion, he said, will see the project serve the East African region, replacing kerosene and firewood as energy sources.
KAFUCO is also setting up a multidisciplinary research center to orient training towards scientific quests and strengthen the University profile in the region.
Kaimosi Friends University College academic staff have been trained on creating course content for open-source learning platforms.
This propels the University closer to achieving Technology-Enabled Learning goals of availing blended course material on the Moodle application for unlimited access by students
The training was done by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), which is helping KAFUCO transform approaches to teaching in line with modern learning habits. COL e-learning expert Johan Fouche of South Africa based JF Multimedia steered the three-day training between March 24, 2020, and March 26, 2020, in KAFUCO.
The workshop training material have also been uploaded onto our servers for unlimited access by lecturers for guidance in content creation.
Between now and May, our lecturers are expected to create and upload all course content onto Moodle, enabling students access on the go. The third phase of training in May will assess progress and strengthen the creation of interactive material that will include links to videos, graphics and thousands of material on the Open Educational Resources.
COL has further pleadged to support KAFUCO in formulating the implementation matrix and monitor progress until we get it right.
Fouche said “the training will be a huge advantage to students who will be trained for the future job demands.”
Our Principal Professor Ogodo J.M Nandi who closed the workshop thanked COL for partnersing with KAFUCO and described technology-enabled learning as the future of acadremic training.
He said the University College will commit towards establishment of a solid implementation matrix and challenged the lecturers to treat the opportunity with the seriousness it bore.
He asked COL to continue supporting the University on the project.
KAFUCO has installed smart boards in lecture halls as part of efforts to strenthen training. Coupled with TEL the University is looking to revolutionize training for the 21st Century learners, who, research has shown, are drawing information from the internet and on the go.
TEL seeks to make leraning interactive and material accessible anytime, anywhere.
Plans by Kaimosi Friends University College to establish a School of Nursing have received a major boost following a successful inception talks with Jumuia Friends Hospital to help train the caregivers.
The parties are currently laying ground for a Memorandum of Agreement which will seal the training deal, bringing KAFUCO closer to meeting the Nursing Council of Kenya prequalification on the establishment of a Nursing School.
A team led by KAFUCO Deputy Principal in charge of Academic and Student Affairs Dr Erick Okwako on Wednesday February 19, 2020 met a team of National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)-run hospital and initiated talks. NCCK General Secretary Reverend Chris Karanja graced the meeting.
The hospital is one the health facilities that will offer the requisite fieldwork experience to the Nursing students in line with Nursing Council guidelines.
The University College is also pursuing an MoU with the County Government of Vihiga and other hospitals.
The University College is training caregivers to tap to help plug shortage across the Western region.
The School will employ Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) to strengthen training in line with 21st Century demands.
Establishment of the school rekindles memories of when Kaimosi Complex in which sits the university had the only nursing school in the whole of East Africa. In fact, the complex is home to one of the very first such institutions in Africa
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KAFUCO’s indoor games and swimming teams will be proceeding to the National play offs phase of the Kenya University Sports Association (KUSA) games to be held in Meru University in February. Our teams proceeded after bagging medals at the Western Conference leg of the biennial tourneys hosted by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of science and Technology on the weekend on 18th and 19th January, 2020.
The swimming team emerged best and second best out of nine participating universities in the region in the women and men’s categories respectively. In the women’s event, Becky Kerubo bagged three gold medals in back, freestyle and breastroke.
In the indoor games, KAFUCO will be taking the darts team to the National play offs.
Our hockey team lost the regional playoffs to the host university by a thin margin.
EMBRACE SYNERGY TO STAY RELEVANT, NEW STAFF TOLD
The Newly recruited (18) Academic Staff have been challenged to help drive up the quality of training offered to students at Kaimosi Friends University College by embracing professionalism and responsibility
In his address to the academic personnel who reported last month, our Principal Professor Ogodo J.M, Nandi called on the lecturers to commit to the University College’s philosophical framework and deliver on our mission, vision and core values.
Prof Nandi said recruitment of tutors was part of deliberate efforts to meet standard requirements of at least 70 per cent of teaching staff engaged on long term basis against less than 30 per cent part-timers for a University.
This, Professor Nandi said would strengthen the quality of student-to-faculty interaction, spur practical and market-oriented teaching and training.
The academicians are further expected to turn the University College into a research centre with several project proposals going out to attract funding.
“Synergy is the energy to relevance in research. Let us embrace multidisciplinary research and involve indigenous knowledge for studies that impact lives,” said Prof Nandi.
KAFUCO and with the University of New Mexico (US) have initiated a partnership to set up a multidisciplinary at the University College.