Universities in Kenya have launched anti-terrorism courses

Universities to offer anti-terror studies after ‘al Shabaab’ attacks

KISUMU (Xinhua) — Universities in Kenya have launched anti-terrorism courses for students joining them from September in efforts to curb terror attacks targeting the learning institutions.The courses, according to officials in-charge of academic affairs, will be compulsory and examined alongside other common units.

The launch of the anti-terror courses comes barely a month after Garissa University College was attacked by ‘al Shabaab’ terrorists killing 142 students and six security officers.

There have been reports of terror threats in colleges and other institutions of higher learning.

According to the institutions, the courses will help students prepare adequately for disaster and terror attacks as terrorists have shifted their targets to learning institutions.

Professor Maurice Amutabi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in-charge of Academic Affairs at the Kisii University, said on Tuesday that their course is all about security preparedness course, with specific focus on terror threat, physical and cyber threats, crime detection, crime monitoring, early warning and security information sharing and networking.

“Its curriculum is being designed and we hope to launch it this year September when first year students are reporting,” Amutabi said during the launch of the course in Kakamega, Western Kenya.

He added the course will be taught by lecturers from the security and intelligence firms, who have vast experience and knowledge in the field.

Professor Dominic Makawiti, the vice-chancellor of Maseno University said that they are going to partner with security and intelligence firms to offer anti-terrorism training to students and staff.

“Security is all about gathering intelligence from various points and being able to kick out any sign in advance.

“This is what we want to do because we cannot continue risking the lives of our staff and students.

“They need the skills to equip themselves,” Makawiti told university students at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.

The university’s Coordinator Disaster Information and Response Unit at the institution, Dr Veronica Kiluva said that insecurity and terrorism cases are becoming more rampant in the country and there is need for the university to train its students and staff on how to handle the same.

“The objective of the course is to create awareness and be alert in case of terror.

“Another objective of the course is to get rid of any potential radicalisation given that university students are also target group for ‘al Shabaab’ extremists,” she said.

One of the terrorists who attacked students at Garissa University is Abdirahim Abdullahi, an upcoming lawyer, who studied at University of Nairobi, a top institution in Kenya.

And in a case that shows institutions of higher learning are under threat of terror attack in Kenya, a week ago, Migori Teachers Training College in western region was closed indefinitely after two men suspected to be members of the Al- Shabaab were found in the institution.

The Principal Mary Claire Indire alerted the police after two young men who could not speak Kiswahili nor English gained access to the school compound.

He said the two suspects could not be traced immediately and the police were alerted that strangers had gone into the institution.

Police are yet to arrest the two suspects to date as learners remain at home pondering over the threat.

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About African Interdisciplinary Studies Association Website

Prof. Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi is President of African Interdisciplinary Studies Association (AISA), a pioneer professional associaiton bringing together members from all disciplines in Africa and abroad. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who previously worked as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Kisii University and also Director of Research and Professor in Peace and Strategic Studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), 2010-2013. He has previously taught at Central Washington University, USA (2005-2010) in African Studies Programme and Moi University (1992-2000) in the Department of Development Studies and other public universities in Kenya. Prof. Amutabi holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA in History and African Studies. He received his B.A (Hons) in 1989 in Political Science and History and M.A in 1991 from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Maurice Amutabi is co-editor of Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa: Five Decades of Misrule (with Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o) – in 2013. Amutabi also co-edited Africa after Fifty Years: Retrospections and Reflections (with Toyin Falola and Sylvester Gundona) in 2012. Amutabi is the author of The NGO Factor in Africa: The Case of Arrested Development in Kenya (New York: Routledge, 2006). Amutabi is co-author of Nationalism and Democracy for People-Centered Development in Africa (Moi University Press, 2000). He has also co-authored Foundations of Adult Education in Africa (Cape Town/Hamburg: Pearson/UNESCO, 2005). He has written two novels, Because of Honor (a novel on Islam in Africa) and These Good People (a novel on corruption in Africa). Amutabi is also the author of Nakhamuma Stories (a collection of short stories from the Abaluyia community of western Kenya). His chapters have appeared in over thirty books. His articles have appeared in several refereed and reputable journals such as African Studies Review, African Contemporary Cultural Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Journal of Educational Development; and Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. Amutabi has made presentations at over one hundred national and international conferences. Amutabi is the Vice-President of the Kenya Studies and Scholars’ Association (KESSA), Kenya’s premier research and academic organization. He is the editor-in-chief of Kenya Studies Review and Eastern Africa Journal of Humanities and Sciences. Prof. Amutabi has conducted extensive research on many issues of development. He has taught courses on peace and conflict and gender and development. He teaches in the PhD and Masters Programme in the Institute of Peace and Security Studies at Kisii University. He enjoys blogging and writing and is an avid sports fan, but does not support any of team, preferring to support the team that plays well.
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One Response to Universities in Kenya have launched anti-terrorism courses

  1. This proactive stance is commendable and should be emulated by all African countries. Nigerian Universities should act in this direction as well.

    Alloy

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