Today, having a degree has become a necessity even as potential employers fight to retain the most skilled in their ranks. Professional qualifications offered by universities are recognised and respected worldwide, and this means demand for higher education will keep on rising.
According to the US Department of Education, they have a transition rate of 69.2 per cent from high school to university while in Britain, 33.1 per cent qualify for university. In Kenya, the situation is pretty different. The number of Kenyans with at least a single degree stands at a paltry 495,000 out of 42 million.
Only 70,073 students (11.38 per cent) got C+ and above in 2017 with 541,879 students failing to make the cut. More than 75 per cent got D+ and below and therefore did not qualify for direct entry into university. How then can we make higher learning accessible to this group?
One way of increasing opportunity is by developing a clear career progression path for students who failed to gain the minimum entry requirement. Students who scored grades C and C- can join a variety of Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) diploma programmes, which would guarantee them entry to university.
Those with D and D+ could pursue craft qualifications at technical and vocational colleges, giving them an opportunity to pursue diploma, and later degree. Any candidates who scored D- and below or failed to get into high school could then seek entry into University through artisan programmes, craft, diploma and eventually degree.
By introducing such a clear progression paths and engaging stakeholders at all levels opportunities would be widened for candidates currently shut out by the system.
Currently, the country has tens of examining bodies offering essentially beneficial professional qualifications at certificate or diploma level other than KNEC. Hundreds of thousands of students have graduated or enrolled into ACCA, KASNEB, ICM, ICDL, CIM, ABE, ABMA, IHRM, City and Guilds and many other examination bodies. These need to be harmonised, providing yet another career progression route and also enabling graduates to get credit transfers and pursue degree programmes of their choice.
This approach has already been piloted by ACCA which now guarantees entry into accounting degree programs for students with high school grades that wouldn’t have allowed the many where near the gates of a world class university.
If Kenyan universities were to take a similar approach, opportunities for higher education would more than triple within a few years.
Another way of ensuring greater opportunity is encouraging open and distance learning for those unable to attend full time classes on campus.
While many Kenyan universities have taken up open learning as a means of increasing enrolment without need for extra space, it seems to have favoured those pursuing post graduate training as opposed to individuals seeking a first degree. Craft and diploma holders across the country, either working or doing business or otherwise unable to pursue higher education would welcome open learning opportunities being presented their way.
Shilaho wa Muteshi, head of Academic Affairs, Cytonn College of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.