Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Knowledge Center transforms access to education

By Bett Kipsang’

Access to information services is a fundamental necessity for the well being of a society. Youths living in Ng’arua and its environs can attest. ‘‘I knew about Ng’arua Maarifa Centre, even before I started my Business Management course two years ago’’ Said Nicholas Kariuki a second year student at the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM).
Jacinta Kairu access internet at Ngarua Maarifa Centre 

 Whenever he is not in college, Kariuki goes to Ng’arua Maarifa Centre to research and learn new things. ‘‘I use the library and free internet for academic research’’ He said adding that he borrowed a business study book recently and has benefited him a lot.

 He get lots of information and research materials from the internet. ‘‘Apart from studies the internet has been very resourceful for communications, news and access to social network sites’’. Said Kariuki, adding that internet speed at the Maarifa centre was commendable. Nicholas is nurturing ambitions to become a web designer and holder of a master’s degree in Business Management.

 Nicholas observed that Ng’arua Maarifa Centre has helped many young people to access opportunities which they could not have accessed anywhere else in the locality. ‘‘It is a blessing and great opportunity’’ He said referring to the Ng’arua Maarifa Centre.    

Jacinta Kairu 22, is comfortably pursuing her distance learning course at the convenience of her home. She started her diploma in community development at the local branch of a prestigious international learning institution. The Maarifa centre was useful to her from the start, ''I came here to send an application which i had found in a newspaper advertisement'' she said.  

To her surprise! She got admissions. It was already easy for her to use the internet since she had completed the free ICT training offered at the Ng’arua Maarifa centre.

Jacinta, now at her second year have come to terms with the taxing demands of distance learning, unlike at first when she had a lot of challenges. ''Were it not for the Maarifa centre, it would have been extremely difficult for me to study’’ She said considering the cost of travelling to the nearest town, 70 Kilometers away and the extra charges for the internet cyber. She now appeals to the youth to utilize the library and ICT equipment for their empowerment.

She now has an ambition to complete her course with a good grade and go ahead to become an established entrepreneur. I greatly appreciate the role of Ng’arua Maarifa Centre in promoting quality access to information resources. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maarifa Center becomes an Oasis of knowledge.

By Bett Kipsang'

 During vacations, Ng’arua Maarifa centre is the place to be for university and college students. ‘‘With the necessary facilities and a conducive environment for reading, the centre is one of the best places to study’’ said Wilson Waweru Ndiritu 21, a second year student pursuing Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) at the University of Nairobi. Ndiritu is also studying for a Certified Public Accountants (C.P.A) course during his private time. Ndiritu is happy and feels lucky to have learned about Ng'arua Maarifa centre from friends two years ago.

Wilson Waweru Ndiritu (Front) studying at Maarifa centre with others 
‘‘I cannot imagine how I could be doing my studies without this centre! It is not always convenient for me to study at home as most of my notes are in soft copy and I must access a computer to read them’’ Said Ndiritu, adding that he has not managed to acquire his own Laptop. 

‘‘Information services at the centre have been very resourceful for my career and I have never had difficulties getting what I needed as the staff were always ready assist’’ he said.

According to Ndiritu, CPA is mandatory for one to become a certified public accountant, hence the need to study the course alongside Barchelor of Commerce. He however acknowledged that studying privately is quite a challenge, but he has seen many of his colleagues go through the course in a similar way and excelled. He has also done C.P.A sections one and two in the same way and passed very well. ‘‘I attribute my success in the first two sections to the Maarifa Centre especially during my long vacations’’ he said.

Ndiritu heaped praises at ALIN for setting up the Maarifa Centre, saying that it was very rare to find such a place offering free library and internet services. ‘‘I wish ALIN could grow very big so that it can continue to support the Kenya Vision 2030’’ Ndiritu said happily. 

He commended the set up of the Maarifa Centre saying that it was also convenient for people who had their own laptops. Ndiritu had a few recommendations to make owing to the high turnout of users; he suggest for the Maarifa Centre to be equipped with more computers and books to serve more diverse needs. 
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