b)         Grading Systems

 

Text Box: Table 2:  Examination Categories and Grading Points Ratings

Credits are not given; they are earned upon successful completion of a course requirement.  The grading system adopted is the Grade Point Average (GPA), which is calculated by totalling the earned points of all courses and dividing the result by the total semester hours. In cases of repeated course, only the best grade will be calculated in the GPA. Final grades for each semester are recorded on the students¨ transcripts. A final grade is accumulated from final examination, mid term examination and other progress in class work.

 

 

Examination Category

Grading Points Ratings

Score

Grade

Points

Ratings

 

 

Final Exam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

 

 

Class work, Laboratory, Tests, Quizzes, Projects, Reports, Assignments & Attendance

 

 

40%

 

 

 

 

 

20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40%

92  - 100

A-

4.00

Excellent

89 - 91

    A

3.67

 

85 - 88

B+

3.33

 

80 - 84

    B

3.00

Above Average

75 - 79

B-

2.67

 

70 - 74

C+

2.33

 

65 - 69

    C

2.00

Average

60 - 64

C-

1.67

Below Average

50 - 59

D

1.00

 

00 - 49

F

0.00

Failure

 

1.1      3.6      Situational Analysis

 

This section features the situational analysis of problems as perceived by various stakeholders.  According to the TAC management team, the main problem that hampers the effective and efficient functions and delivery of services is inadequate capital.  The root causes of the problem include: -

                     Low level of funding by BoT

                     Low student enrolment

                     Poor performance of auxiliary enterprises hence low return from IGAs

                     High cost of maintenance of vehicles due to poor roads

                     High cost of maintenance of equipment and tools due to old age

                     High cost of repair of staff houses, administration block, classrooms and dorms among others

                     Low attendance of patients at the dispensary hence low returns

                     High cost of educating their workers in foreign universities.

                     Lack of donor support

                     Poor public relations

                     Lack of awareness of UoA needs by willing supporters

 

The perception of the faculty and staff is not very different from that of the management but they are more focused on low salaries and allowances. According to the perception of the staff, their livelihood can only be improved if the prevalent low salary, which demotivates them and also discourages prospective professionals willing to join the institution, is addressed. It was noted that the institution is faced with inadequate staffing facilities such as houses.  The other option of having staff who commute from Usa River Township is also hampered by lack of transport facilities and low house allowances. These situations have resulted in dependency on cheap labour, which has led to poor quality services.

 

 

From the BoT point of view, low income is critical to the poor status of affairs at the campus. This was noted at two levels. One arises from low enrolment of students and low returns from the IGAs. In this situation, the BoT expects the institution to generate enough funds to enable it operate from the student fees which is lacking. Two, the BoT experiences low funds generated from church membership. As a result, the Board is faced with high cost of training for its workers in foreign universities.

 

As regards the students and community members the problems varied greatly and were centred on access to improved learning facilities. According to the students, enrolment can only improve if the issue of educational facilities is addressed. The identified facilities were: -

 

                     Inadequate resource such as library, laboratories, computers, transport and communication facilities

                     Inadequate boarding facilities

                     Inadequate staff/teachers

                     Inadequate instruction and learning facilities such as chairs and tables

                     Lack of recreational activities

                     Limited educational programmes (courses offered)

                     Lack of recognition of the college

 

2    4.  INSTITUTIONAL ASSESSMENT

 

2.1      4.1      Introduction

 

The Analysis of the performance of various functions of TAC revealed the varying levels of success and failures in the past. The analysis was done using SOFO methodology (Appendix 3), with the main focus in the following areas.

4.1.1     Administrative Functions

 

Results of an institutional audit carried out by the participants revealed that TAC had succeeded in carrying out its administrative functions such as the provision of basic necessities  for shelter, water, access to medical care (dispensary), up grading of staff and provision of monthly salaries. In addition, there is good indication of unity among workers and reliable access to communication services. At the moment, the administration has embarked on the introduction of new programmes and do implore the involvement of faculty and staff in decision making. To facilitate learning, the administration has refurbished offices and provided equipments.

 

Nevertheless, in-depth analysis revealed several limitations largely categorised as

 

                     Lack of staff development plans; motivation, housing,

                     Lack of proper financial planning;

                     Lack of proper material management

                     Lack of resources for research

4.1.2     Organizational Structure

 

The team noted that TAC has a hierarchical structure that has served it well in terms of provision of policy guidance, defining co-ordination and reporting units. In the structure, the Union President, designated as the Chairman of the Board is the ultimate authority and holds legal ownership of the institute (Appendix 1: TAC Structure).  As stated in the BoT Handbook, the Board of Trustees (BoT) is responsible for the successful operation of the college. The board membership is composed of between 10 to 15 members. At the same time, the structure has two organs offering alternative power. These are the TU Executive Committee, with the authority to manage the business and affairs of the institution and the College Board with no clear functions but is reflected as a power organ. Such establishments are a clear indication of a non-responsive management authority.

 

A SOFO analysis of the structure by the assessment team revealed that the current establishment is too tall to offer strategic leadership in an Institute for higher education. One, it seems to provide for duplication of functions, too many committees with no clearly defined functions. Two, it has no legitimate authority to the mainstream functions of the college as an academic institution. Three, the structure is silent on the progressive development units such as estate and planning. Four, the structure is flawed especially where there is no linkage between the Director of Development and the Project Heads; instead the Project Heads are answerable to the Chief accountant. This only makes the Director of Development office ceremonial and redundant. It is also suicidal to entrust the functions of the entire institution in the hands of an individual as indicated in the structure. These are just but few of the gross errors of commission by the structure which require immediate redrafting.

 

Against these weaknesses, the team recommended a reformulation of the structure to correspond with the new challenges and incorporate the involvement of academicians in the running of the institution, in particular to operate as a university. This is also in line with the recommendation of HEAC evaluation report, which stated in part ^for the purpose of the university, these will have to be streamlined to conform to HEAC requirement and guidelines[1] ̄.

4.1.3     Policy and Decision Making

 

TAC has maintained a culture based on the traditional beliefs of the SDA church whereby decisions are governed by policy frameworks.  These include TAC Faculty Handbook, BOT Handbook, Working Policy, Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook. These policies are in line with the constitution of the General Conference of the SDA.

 

Further discussions on policy and decision-making revealed three major shortfalls. One, it was noted that there is not enough effort put to review the policies every 2 years hence all the working policies are out dated and have been overtaken by events. Two, the guidelines are too generally designed to serve the SDA church in a wider context. In addition the BoT has not put adequate making to disseminate and clarify various issues such as salary increment, and conflict resolution among others. Three, the assessment was particularly critical of the laxity by BoT manifested in lack of adequate feedback on policies and plans.

 

Although the planning team observed that BoT set limits to the review of the policies, the stumbling block could easily be overcome by capacity building for the BoT and staff to be conversant with the roles and importance of review and implementation of the policies. Such reviews will enable TAC to design tailor-made policies.

4.1.4     Style and Approach

 

TAC has perfected a unique management style and approach to issues where issues are approached through a Christian perspective of Mathew 18:15-17[2] where the concerned parties talk about an issue. Where a resolution is not arrived at, the immediate supervisor is consulted and subsequent supervisors and/or appropriate committees are involved as necessary. Where appropriate a verdict on difficult issues is sought through the Board.

 

The approach is quite redemptive and has enhanced living in harmony and collective persuasion of the philosophy. In spite of the good indication to absence of tension, the approach was found to be an obstacle to progress. Some of the weaknesses recognized include: -

 

                     Occasional failures to confront issues promptly

                     There is lack of information on key decisions made which encourages wrong doing

 

In order to minimize such weak points, the team proposed the development of key policies to include clearly defined protocol to guide the process and facilitate quick decisions. There will also be a need to train staff on aspects of conflict resolution.

4.1.5     Human Resources

 

Category

Description

Numbers

1

Staff

          Primary School Education

 

50

          Post Primary School Education

-

          Secondary School Education

40

          Professional Certificate

3

          Professional Diploma

9

2

Faculty

          First Degree

 

9

          Masters Degree

13

          PHD

1

          Other

10

Total

135

TAC is served by staff with diverse professional backgrounds and good working experiences. It has also made a provision for capacity building and skill upgrade for its staff. It would be useful to systematise through an established human resource development plan. At the moment, inadequate technical skills that would be necessary in the implementation have been identified.

 

It was also appreciable that TAC is sensitive to planning although there is no planning calendar to guide the process. This has led to cases of emergency meetings by the administrative committee to help sort out pressing issues of management.

4.1.6     Monitoring and Evaluation Systems

 

An assessment of the Monitoring & Evaluation systems revealed that elements of M&E such as preparing a teacher appraisal tool exist. TAC has also appointed a committee to prepare appraisal instruments for the other workers. Nevertheless, some deficiencies of absence, limited feedback systems and unsystematic evaluations were established. Adequate follow-up in the use of available tools was also found to be lacking.

 

It was therefore recommended that TAC should seek expert assistance to develop M&E tools and systems. It should also strengthen its collaboration with similar institutions to enable a constant and regular sharing of M&E experiences of the various departments, projects and staff. M&E training for staff will be crucial in the integration process.

4.1.7     External Relationships

 

It was established that TAC enjoy good collaboration and network with several national and international organizations/institutions. Such networks are manifest in the current affiliation with the University of Eastern Africa Baraton (UEAB) in Kenya and good working relationship with Makumira University College (MUCO) and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC). The external relationship has also enabled the development of physical facilities through donations. It also has a sound and good working relationship with line government ministries. In the recent past, it received the Higher Education Accreditation Council for the purpose of evaluating it for upgrade into a full-fledged university status.

 

In spite of the cordial relations with collaborators, the team discovered that no efforts have been made to use the strengths of these organizations to document TAC experiences. In view of this it is proposed that: -

 

  • An information exchange network be established to facilitate the transfer of relevant information
  • Collaboration be widened

4.1.8     Technologies

 

On the technological front, it was observed that the college benefited from donations of computers, which enable it to have a complete computer lab with 20 desktop computers. Similarly, various departments also have computer systems. In addition, the administrative functions are facilitated by full range of automation tools and equipments.

4.1.9     Gender Approach

 

Gender analysis was conducted and it was realised that the inherent system has been insensitive to gender. For example, no female representatives are at the BoT level, hence BoT policies have been pro males. At TAC management level, the gender profile is negatively skewed with all men in mainstream management positions. Although, the college does admit females in various departments including theology, a bias in sponsorship was noted. Among all the church sponsored students, none was female. Furthermore, there are no plans put in place by the sponsors to cater for the education of student¨s wives and children.

 

In order to change the situation, UoA will need to develop gender policy and start on a gender sensitization process. Gender mainstreaming in all activities will follow. An external expertise will be required to develop and integrate gender into M&E activities.

 

2.2      4.2      Financial Assessment

 

A proper Financial Management System (FMS) is crucial for the operationalization of UoA. A critical analysis was carried out to determine various aspects of UoA¨s FMS put in place.

 



[1]  HEAC Technical Evaluation Report 2003

 

[2]  Mathew 18:15-17; 15 Moreover if  thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.