Speech Delivered By The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Josphat K. Z. Mwatelah During The Orientation of 1st Year Students On 11th September 2015

Speech Delivered

By

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Josphat K. Z. Mwatelah

During

The Orientation of 1st Year Students

On

11th September 2015

AT THE MAIN CAMPUS-ASSEMBLY HALL, 2.00PM

 

1st Year Students of the Technical University of Mombasa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics Research and Extension (ARE) ,  Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration Finance and Planning (AFP) ,  Deans and Directors, Chairpersons and Heads of Departments,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Afternoon.

On behalf of Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), a hearty welcome to each and every one of you to this great institution of higher learning, the only University at sea level.

I would like to congratulate you for qualifying to come to this University despite the stiff competition for admission. I know that it was not an easy task, and you therefore deserve our congratulations.

This University that you have joined is amongst the oldest and most prestigious institutions this mother land has ever had. Her rich history can be traced back to the early 1940’s. It was established as Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (MIOME) which placed special emphasis on Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Seamanship, Navigation and Woodwork.


Many personalities with high repute have passed through this institution and left a mark. I believe that you have also embarked on a mission that will definitely leave a mark of Excellency.

As you settle down into a new phase in your lives, I would like to remind you that you have a major challenge ahead of you.

 

This challenge is to excel and live up to the expectations of your parents/guardians and the entire Kenyan population. It is only you as individuals, who will determine the end result of your stay in the University.

 

The choices you make will therefore be very important right from today, because they will greatly impact on your future. In this respect, I would like to urge each student to establish his/her goals and interests, which must be consistent with the objectives of the University.

The University’s Vision “A University of global excellence in Advancing Knowledge, Science & Technology” shall be achieved through training and producing disciplined and qualified personnel in Business, Humanities, Engineering, Health Sciences and Technological fields.

We are committed to quality delivery of service by being prompt, transparent and accountable in all our undertakings in line with Good Corporate Governance.

Today is orientation day whose purpose apart from welcoming you is to enable you to get to know the place, the people and our expectation is that you will have the opportunity if you have not done so to meet the Faculties and schools Deans, to appreciate what is in place before embarking on your academic work.

We appreciate that though you come from different cultural, economical and religious backgrounds, It is our sincere hope that you will surely fit in this community and relate well with everybody as you pursue your career.

HIV/AIDS and drugs

As you begin your various academic programmes you must realize that there are some social problems which as students, you must avoid at all costs. Some of these include, over-indulgence in social excesses such as irresponsible drinking of alcohol, drug and substance abuse and involvement in unproductive and antisocial activities. Cases of unwanted pregnancies have continued to cause major problems among students.

This has inevitably interrupted studies and has sometimes led to failure. Today, the most devastating health and social problem confronting our community of students and staff is the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has continued to afflict many in our country. The University has not been spared either and we have had students like you, who had so much potential and a bright future, lose their lives to the pandemic.

Despite commendable progress in research, AIDs still has no cure. In this regard, I would like to strongly urge you to face matters related to this menace openly and with dignity and respect to yourselves, your friends and your associates.

The only sure way of protecting yourself is abstinence. If, however, you must do it, get realistic and practice safe and protected sex. Further, you are strongly advised to establish your HIV status through getting tested. If you are HIV-negative, zealously protect your status. Otherwise, if you are HIV positive, get into a health care regime. There is a Voluntary Counselling and testing (VCT) centre here in TUM, Please take advantage of that.

Radicalization and Terrorism

Radicalization and Terrorism has become a problem in Kenya and the world at large, of late we have seen very educated young people in our country involving themselves in terrorist activities. We have lost bright young minds because of this vice. Terrorism is a crime and has nothing to do with religious beliefs. If you suspect an individual, a car or a substance within the university, please report immediately to the security officers. Please avoid being radicalized completely.

Do not walk alone at night, just like in any other urban centre take great care of your personal security; we shall play our part too. The future of this country depends on you and your parents have sacrificed a lot for you to here, don’t let them down.

Resources

The University has put in place various resources to enable trainees accomplish their dream in line with vision 2030 which aims at making Kenya a newly industrialized country by 2030. We have endeavored and we shall continue to provide facilities in the form of books, workshops/ laboratories to facilitate the programmes.

Computer studies have been integrated in all the TUM programmes to enable students access the internet for research and get the latest information. The University has already acquired five smart boards that are used by lectures in various Departments. We are trying to increase facilities that are of quality but affordable.

Although we have limited accommodation facilities given on first come, first serve basis, we are exploring possibilities of increasing the bed capacity of our hostels without compromising quality. You therefore have a responsibility as an individual to take care of these facilities which have served us well over the years.

University Rules and Regulations

Every organized society/community requires rules to regulate its relationships and TUM is no exception. The Academic Division through the Registrar Academic Affairs’ Office and Director ICTS will instruct every new student how to download a copy of the Students’ Hand Book.  The electronic Hand book is user friendly can be accessed anywhere on your smart phones. The key highlights in the Hand Book includes Programme and Course requirements, academic advancement, examinations issues as well as general rules and regulations governing students’ code of conduct and discipline.

Every student is expected to read and understand the contents of the Students’ Hand Book so as to avoid pitfalls in life which can be very costly at times. It is important to note that rowdy and inappropriate behavior of a few can affect the reputation of the University, locally and beyond and potentially tarnish the value of your certificate.

We urge you to be our ambassadors wherever you are in dressing and behavior, for the good name of our University will be of great benefit to all of us as a family.

Academic programmes.

Our academic programmes are of high quality geared towards the labour market. They are competitive and industry driven ranging from Engineering, Science, Technology, Business and Social Sciences. Ensure that you pass your exams and attain what you have come for. Industrial Attachment is part of the course requirements, it is mandatory that you undergo Industrial attachment/Internship to acquire practical knowledge/experience relevant to your training. During this period you are expected to adhere to the company’s rules and regulations.

Status of Engineering Programmes.

After becoming fully fledged University in 2013, TUM embarked on the process of seeking accreditation of its programmes with Engineering Board of Kenya (EBK). TUM invited EBK for inspection of the physical infrastructure and other facilities as pertains to Engineering programmes and in March 2014 they gave a report which TUM has been persuing.

The four Bachelor of Science Engineering programmes currently on offer at TUM have been realigned to conform to EBK and Commission for University Education (CUE) requirements and resubmitted to EBK in readiness to accreditation after payment of the registration fees for each programme. As a final leg towards achieving accreditation, TUM is actively engaging thematic leaders in the three programmes to fulfill the EBK conditions.

Meanwhile our grandaunds shall continue to graduate with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) till we get accreditation by engineering board of Kenya (EBK).

We wish to assure all Engineering students and stakeholders that TUM is committed to offering quality market driven programmes that are global and conform to regulatory requirements.

Communication Channels

While pursuing your studies, we have channels of communication to facilitate basic communication within the University. We as the management are not only transparent but we also encourage open door policy. Apart from the laid down procedures we communicate through notices, meetings, media and Web Site, among others.

Students Governance

There is a students’ governing body (TUMSO) that presents students’ views to management. I urge you to channel all your views to the management through this body guided by laid down communication channels. All of you have an opportunity to be members of this important organization either as leaders or simple members. Learn to respect your leaders for leaders are not born but they are made. For those who will have an opportunity to serve as leaders should remember that leadership requires humility and sacrifice. Leadership at whatever level accords you the opportunity to serve others. Always take the first line when there is danger and then people will appreciate your leadership. As Brian Tracy said, and I quote “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” We hope you will be those leaders who are solution providers rather than negative critics through and through.

Fees

You are expected to pay all your fees to access essential services. As a rule no student can be allowed to sit for examinations without clearing fees. You are therefore advised to make prior arrangements to clear your fees before examination time to avoid last minute rush.

Co – curricular activities

 We encourage you to take time-off from your busy academic schedule to participate in co-curricular activities. We have excelled at the national level in exhibitions, music, drama,Tae kwon do, football etc., and your participation will ensure our continuing dominance in these fields. Students are particularly encouraged to be innovative and come up with viable projects which can attract funding through the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) have them patented. If you have talent you will have the opportunity to use it and who knows you can make a living out of it, as many other Kenyans have done!

Culture

For most of you from upcountry and first timers in Mombasa you will be able to sample the rich cultural heritage that the Coast is well known for. The residents of Mombasa can benefit so much from your enthusiasm and your compassion and as you know it is gratifying to help and support our colleagues.

Mombasa is a touristic town with many world class entertainment spots and historical sites; the Indian Ocean, the famous Fort Jesus, Gede Ruins and Arabuko Sokoke forest, but please do not venture to swim in the ocean if you have no experience! Do not be mesmerized by the pleasures of Mombasa and forget the main aim and objective of being here, that of Education and Excellence.

Information Centres

We have put up a library and a digital centre for accessing information. We expect you to use them to read and develop a culture of reading. Those who read passionately end up being read. You cannot separate readership from leadership as John F. Kennedy says “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” We therefore encourage you to develop a reading culture.

Friends

In the course of your stay, you will make friends. The people you associate with will influence and shape your destiny. A conversation with the right person can be more valuable than many years of study. Study your social environment and surround yourself with people who will inspire, mentor you positively and eventually make you a better being.

Challenges

As you pursue your studies, you will meet many challenges/opportunities that cause some men to break and others to break records, so the ball is in your court, will you break it or will you break records? Martin Luther King Jr once said and I quote “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of joy and comfort but where he stands in times of challenges and controversy.” The great men must go through challenges to become who they are in history e.g., (Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela among others). To become great requires self sacrifice and persistence as the saying goes, never, ever give up. Even when faced with insurmountable challenges, soldier on though the going might be tough at times.

Time Management

Students’ greatest challenge is time management. We are living in a complex world with too many activities competing at the same time and time is the only resource equally given to all men and women. Your success in life is determined on how well you spend your time. Poor time management could be a major source of stress, frustrations, conflicts and regrets in life. Always prepare a time budget on how to spend your time. 1. Have a time schedule 2. Get rid of unnecessary friends 3. Stick to your routine 4. Do not delay an action/procrastinate Make the most out of the time you have, because there will be no time.

Dreams

You are here for a reason and a season, to pursue your dreams. It is said that the poorest man on earth is a man without a dream and the most frustrated man on earth is a man with a dream that never becomes a reality. When the passion for your dream is unquenched then quitting is unthinkable and that makes victory inevitable. Do not lose focus of your dream even though the going may be tough. Remain focused and committed at all times.

Conclusion

We expect you, both within and outside the University, to conduct yourselves responsibly and with maturity and in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, personal discipline and morality. You are further expected to refrain from acts of indiscipline, to refrain from acts of thuggery, hooliganism, disorderly behaviour and violence; desist from misuse, malicious or willful damage of University property; and avoid disturbing, assaulting or injuring other students, staff and members of the public. Commission of any acts of indiscipline will lead not only to disciplinary action by the University, but also involvement of the police and the legal system of the land.

 

And finally, on behalf of us all at the University, I once again congratulate you for being selected to join us at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) and wish you every success in your just beginning university career. Thank you and God bless you all.

 

Prof. J K Z Mwatelah

 

VICE CHANCELLOR

©2017 Technical University of Mombasa. All rights reserved.