Friday, November 9, 2007

Nyota getting there … Professional Insights

Nyota getting there … Professional Insights

Activity 7 Update

Location: St Johns’ Secondary School

Speaker: Mr. Musungu

Profession: Public Relations Officer, Kenya Polytechnic

16th October, 2007


This was our seventh session into the Nyota getting there … Professional Insights program and our fifth visit to St Johns’ High school.

We, Alice Dande, Kevin Kinyua and Evalyn Mwihia – the volunteers in attendance, arrived at the school at exactly 3 pm bringing with us the speaker of the day – Mr. A.N. Musungu to the school.

Mr. Musungu – Public Relations Officer at the Kenya Polytechnic

Third form students were already gathered in the designated class room and we went ahead to open the session with a short introduction. Shortly after, our speaker took to the floor to make his presentation. He introduced himself as the public relations officer at the Kenya Polytechnic located in the city center along Haile Selassie Avenue. He described his occupation as a marketer of the polytechnic to the public.

Mr. Musungu informed the students that the polytechnic had been in existence since 1960 - a total of 47 years - with the aim of providing midlevel training to diverse groups of students. He went ahead to tell them that it is a constituent college of the University of Nairobi and that it currently offers 1500 courses at various levels e.g. certificate, diploma and higher diploma levels. In addition, it had recently been given a mandate to offer various courses at the degree level. These courses are taken either as full time classes – 8am to 4pm daily, evening classes – 5pm to 7pm daily, distance learning – as per student’s availability or holiday classes – April, August and December.

The polytechnic has 13 academic departments catering to 11 000 students. They include: Graphic Arts; Applied science; Business studies; Building and Engineering; Computer Science and Information Communication and Technology; Electrical engineering; Health sciences and Biotechnology; Institutional Management; Information and Liberal management; Mechanical engineering; Surveying and Mapping.

Mr. Musungu talking to the students about Kenya polytechnic

Mr. Musungu also talked about the minimum requirement for entry into the polytechnic as a mean grade of C plain in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations. He mentioned the ranking system of recruiting students into the institution encouraging the students to select the right subjects for their chosen career and also to improve on their overall mean grade. He gave the students hope by telling them that the government subsidizes cost of education at the polytechnic.

In addition to talking about the polytechnic, Mr. Musungu gave the students some very good words of advice encouraging them to work hard in their studies using quotes such as, ‘Everything that works is made to work.’, ‘At any one time, you are standing on someone’s shoulder and someone is standing on yours’, ‘Reading a book connects you to someone else’s thoughts’ , ‘The deeper you go the more value you get.’ and ‘One who does not think for himself will be thought for’. He gave examples of Albert Einstein and Bill Gates as sources of inspiration and depiction of determination. He encouraged the students, especially the ladies that everything is possible with hard work, determination, practice and concentration. He touched on issues of drug abuse and the negative impacts of drug taking. His final advice to the students was: to do the right thing at the right time.

Mr. Musungu answering a student’s question

At the end of the session, the students were very enthusiastic and asked a lot of questions to which Mr. Musungu answered adequately. We made a conclusion and wished the students success in their coming end of term/year exams.

After leaving the school, we interacted with Mr. Musungu further, finding out about him in terms of his inspirations, educational and occupational background.

Mr. Musungu gave hope to the students at St. Johns High school convincing them that there is life after not making it to the public universities which are currently taking students with very high grades.