Dedan Kimathi university has become the fist ever university in Kenya to offer a virtual graduation ceremony to graduands. According to the university, the current shutdown of all learning institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced them to arrange for this kind of graduation ceremony; since public gatherings have been banned.
“The University will hold the 9th Graduation Ceremony on Friday 8th May 2020. However, due to the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic and the directives given by the Government of Kenya to help curb its spread, the Graduation ceremony will be conducted virtually,” reads a memo from the university to all graduands.
“Graduands who wish to have private ceremonies after COVID 19 pandemic will be allowed to hire a gown from the University at a cost of KES. 500.00,” adds the university’s administration.
This move has though be opposed by a section of the students who see no reason for holding such a ‘futile’ exercise.
“Why are we paying for a virtual graduation. We don’t need that graduation we need the certificates. What is the money for.? What for.? Stop this looting please,” says one Willy Mayoli.
But the university has come out to defend the move saying it will be more beneficial to the students.
“The graduands will be supported by the University to hold a normal Graduation event after the pandemic. With your certificate which will be out in 2 weeks after the virtual graduation, you can take advantage of any opportunities that might arise. We’re doing this for our graduands in keeping our promise of early and timely completion of studies,” explains the university.
The university is at the same time giving students an option to choose their preferred graduation dates.
“All certificates will be out in 2 weeks after the virtual graduation. Keep in mind though that this will be in line with the season you register to graduate: 8th May 2020, November 2020 or April 2021. Those are the 3 options,” the university further explains.
Those hoping to graduate are expected to pay a mandatory graduation fee of between Sh2,000 ans Sh5,000. Diploma and Certificates courses’ graduands will part with Sh2,000. While, Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Masters and PHD graduands will pay 2,850, 4,500, 4,500 and 5,000 shillings respectively.
The university says the Graduation ceremony will be conducted virtually and streamed live via the following official University URLs:
To this effect, the university advises graduands to follow the live event from home and warns them against constituting any form of gathering during the ceremony; as it goes against the government’s directive on public gatherings.
Elsewhere, the university is mulling the introduction of online classes so as to ensure their academic calendar is not disrupted.
“We have been receiving concerns from students regarding the continuation of studies, particularly the May-August Semester. The Vice Chancellor will give an official communication after Senate meets this week to deliberate on the way forward,” the university says.
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