Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) has collaborated with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to review the university’s Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Bachelor of Computer Technology curriculum. The review aimed to make the curriculum more relevant to industry demands and prepare students for the rapidly changing technology industry. The new curriculum is set to impact the delivery of 128 units within the university’s Computer Science and Computer Technology courses and will take effect in time for the September 2023 students’ intake.
The new curriculum will introduce new and innovative concepts such as Applied Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Quantum Computing and User Experience Design, as well as industry-standard tools to improve students’ familiarity with them as they enter the workplace. The review process is part of the ADC’s larger goal of catalyzing digital transformation by providing opportunities for skill and practical knowledge acquisition to equip Kenyans to be competitive in the global digital landscape.
The Managing Director at Microsoft ADC, Catherine Muraga, stated that the collaboration would produce tech industry-ready students and improve standards of teaching. This, in turn, will help create globally employable Kenyans, boost Kenya’s attractiveness as a destination for technology companies looking to invest, and benefit the startup ecosystem, local businesses, and entrepreneurs working on transforming technology. For Kenyans who choose to take up jobs outside the country and support their families or investments back home, it increases remittances, a crucial driver for foreign exchange.
Dr Lawrence Nderu, Chairman, Department of Computing at JKUAT, stated that the review process had been extensive, with invaluable insights and recommendations from experienced industry experts that would add significant value to classroom instruction. He further added that the university looked forward to providing their students with best-in-class education that integrates practical skills building and theoretical understanding as they prepare for success in the technology industry.
As part of the national digitization agenda, the government of Kenya launched the Kenya National Digital Master Plan last year to direct the country’s digital growth trajectory. One of the critical pillars of the master plan is the improvement of digital skills by building the capacity of at least 10,000 ICT professionals with high-level skills. Similar curriculum review initiatives will be implemented at other institutions of higher learning as part of efforts to bridge the ever-present gap between industry and academia, particularly in the technology sector.