The Department of Distance Studies is currently offering courses in Open and Distance Learning, youth in development work, adult education and community education. The targets group or clients of the department are educators of the adults, the youth and the community. These three target groups have unique needs for training and education. Currently the department is offering professional adult learning and youth education short courses as well as higher-level courses leading to ordinary and postgraduate certificates, diploma, masters and PHD qualifications. The teaching-learning methodology is by face-to-face; open and distance learning methods and approaches. This means that the department courses are open to interested learners from all parts of the nation and the world.
Previous Chairmen of the Department:
Alfan Abdala Mazrui 1980 - 1989
Dr Martha Murai 1990-2007
Mary Ngechu 2007 - 2009
Prof. David Macharia 2010 - to June,2013
June,2013 to date
Below are the key achievements of the Department of Distance Studies.
1. Lobbying for recognition:
Since independence adult education was given casual recognition by successful governments and housed under the ministry of culture and social services with minimal funding. The department of Distance Studies has over the years lobbied the government for mainstreaming of adult education. This was successfully achieved in when the government relocated the Department of Adult Education from the Ministry of culture and social services to the Ministry of Education.
The government is now in the process of employing adult teachers under the Teachers Service Commission to ensure sustainability of adult education classes across the country.
2. Vision 2030 Flagship Programme:
Given the key role education is expected to play in the attainment of vision 2030 in transforming Kenya into a middle income country by 2030. The department is proud to note that it’s Masters
In Distance Education programme is one among a few that were adopted as Vision 2030 flagship programmes in 2013. This is geared towards achieving universal access to education as one of the key pillars of Vision 2030.
3. Domestication of CYP Diploma Programme:
The Commonwealth Youth Programme – Diploma in Youth in Development Work was since its inception collaboration of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Open University of Tanzania and the University of Nairobi.In order to customize the programme to the needs of the country and also to increase access, the Department was able to successfully process the programme through senate and domesticate it as one of the University of Nairobi Diploma programmes.
This was an effort to mainstream youth affairs in tandem with the government policy of empowering the youth both academically and economically.
4. Outreach and Community Development:
Both the Certificate and Diploma in Adult Education and Community Development programmes have received widespread acceptance as tools for empowering communities for development.
To achieve this noble goal the department has endeavored to open more avenues of offering this course at the grassroots, besides its home Kikuyu Campus.To date the Department has successfully mounted these programmes in the following areas across the country.
(a) Kisumu city in Kisumu County.
(b) Kirwara town in Muranga County.
(c) Homa Bay town in Homa Bay County.
(d) Mulathankari and Maua in Meru County
(e) Kapenguria in Turkana County
(f) Marsabit in Marsabit County
(g) Kericho Town in Kericho County
(h) Oloitoktok in Kajiado County
(i) Homa Bay Town (from September 2013)
(j) Nakuru Town (from September 2013)
(k) Meru Town (from September 2013)
5. Staff Development:
The Department has been in the forefront in encouraging and supporting staff in advancing their careers. The last five years has seen six members of staff both academic and administrative
undertake and complete various academic and professional programmes.
To date, two of those, Dr. Naomi Gikonyo and Dr. Anne Ndiritu, have attained Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Nairobi, while the remaining four are at various stages of undertaking their programmes at Diploma, Bachelor and PhD level.
6. New programmes:
The Department has successfully developed a curriculum for a new Bachelors in Adult Education and Community Development.The programme has already been processed through the School and College Boards and is awaiting approval of a number of recommendations made at Senate. The programme should be ready for launching by September 2013.
Through aggressive marketing of the programmes of the Department during exhibitions and ASK Shows throughout the country, the enrolment of students per intake especially at diploma level has risen from an average of 50 students to 100 students and above in the last two years.
The Department of Distance Studies has successfully established collaboration with Umtapo Centre of Durban, South Africa and Peace-Net Kenya and is vigorously following formalization
of similar back linking with the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education in the Kenya Government. Linkages