UNESCO Chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development
Description, Mandate and Activities of the Chair
The UNESCO Chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development was awarded to Mount Kenya University in 2017. Mount Kenya University appointed Prof. Joel K. Kiboss as the Director in 2017. He has since retired on medical grounds. The new Director is Prof. Pamela Ochieng’. The UNESCO Chair is currently engaged in andragogy skills training at Naivasha maximum security prison after identifying a gap/need for andragogy skills among inmate teachers who act as teachers to other fellow inmates. Faculty from the school of education have been training inmate teachers on how to handle adult classes. These activities have been coordinated by the UNESCO Chair and supported by the University management. Upon attainment of University entry grades, inmates are given presidential clemency to attend classes outside prison. This has two fold purposes; de-congesting the prisons and also empowering inmates and thus reducing recidivism. The first cohort of inmates was trained and upon completion of the course on andragogy was awarded certificates jointly by Mount Kenya University and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO. Every financial year, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO has been supporting the UNESCO Chair financially for various activities. Mount Kenya University, the seat of the UNESCO Chair has now identified inmates who qualify for a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree. The modules are already available. The University is setting up online interaction systems to support online and offline teaching and learning.
The Chair is engaged with the activity of digital Education where the Chair is coordinating a Kenya National Research Fund (NRF) funded project dubbed “Effectiveness of Offline Study Desk on Prison Education in Kenya”. The competitively won grant is worth USD70,000. The prison project has also attracted another grant by a PhD student to research on Prison Science Education. The grant is worth USD9000. The two research activities are currently on-going.
The UNESCO Chair is in partnership with The UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability at the University of York, Canada. Through the partnership, Mount Kenya University is now a member of the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI). This network is engaged in organizing teacher education conferences in different parts of the world.
Mount Kenya University UNESCO Chair applied for and was granted membership of United Nations Academic Impacts (UNAI). Arising from activities of the UNESCO chair, the University was awarded the SDG:10 Reduced Inequalities Hub for a four year period.
Prof. Pamela Ochieng, D.Phil., M. Phil., B.Ed. ART.
Director, Quality Assurance and
Director, UNESCO Chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development
Mount Kenya University