Certificates of Doom

Certificates of Doom

It is well known that there is a huge demand for education in Kenya, and this demand is manifest at all levels. This demand, coupled with the limited educational resources available to satisfy the same, has made getting into a classroom an extremely competitive affair and provided a business opportunity for others. We have all witnessed the rise of parallel and distance learning initiatives in public universities, as well as the mushrooming of privately held colleges offering all manner of courses and certifications, allegedly in partnership with professional examining bodies. Some of these ‘third-floor colleges’ eventually grow to become universities of sorts.

This uncontrolled growth of the educational sector, coupled with the treating of the same as a commercial venture instead of a social institution has led to a significant drop in the quality of instruction on learning. The lecturer to student ratio in many of these institutions can even get to 1:800 (as is the case in some parallel degree programmes in public universities), which significantly impacts on the interaction the students can have with their instructors. This demand for teachers also leads to institutions hiring under-qualified personnel to lecture in classes. Overall, we as a nation are churning out graduates by the thousands each year, yet only a very small percentage of the same are actually able to work. And as was brought to the fore yesterday in the feature “Certificates of Doom” on NTV, it is possible to buy a degree or diploma certificate for little more than a song. We could harp all day about the lows our education sector has sunk to.

The question then begs; who do you trust? Why should you trust ISA?

How useful are your academic qualifications?

ISA was started to answer to the deficiency of suitably qualified individuals who can take up roles in the Marketing Communication Industry in Kenya. With this in mind, the learning process has been structured in such a manner that it is not a series of classroom sessions that centre around theory. Rather, the courses are made as practical as possible. Students will engage with current material and tackle real issues that actually face brands in the Kenyan market and interact with actual case studies. The end result is that a graduate of ISA is able to translate theoretical knowledge to practical use. The graduate also acquires new skill sets that make them highly relevant individuals.

The choice of instructors has also been guided by the question ISA tries to answer. Instead of the usual lecturers, sessions are facilitated by industry leaders who are drawn from a wide range of institutions. They bring with them a wealth of work experience and industry insights, which further enhances the practical nature of the courses.

A view of ISA's reception area.

All these, together with the limited enrolment and conducive learning environment, work in synergy to bring about a learning experience that is both enjoyable and enriching. The end result is that a person who passes through this institution will leave with an enviable set of skills and abilities. Proof of this is that a number of those who constituted their first intake are currently working at leading agencies in the country, all with very positive feedback from their employers. Those already employed and taking the full time courses and short courses have also reported the great benefit that has come to their work life and personal life.

Indeed, it can be comfortably said that you don’t just need to trust ISA, you need what they have to offer!

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