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Homemade smoothies – easy, healthy and cheap – KBC

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Your solution to eating more fruits and veggies; smoothies

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Let’s look at the facts, shall we? Fact one, a smoothie is first and foremost filled with fruits and/or veggies that are pureed to make a thick beverage. Fact two, they are ridiculously easy to make. Fact three, all you need to make a smoothie is a blender, a couple of fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts with your liquid of choice (water, milk, ice cream, honey). Fact four, they come loaded with nutrients and are great meal replacements.

So, given these simple facts, why not try and make one this weekend? Here are five easy smoothies to try.

Banana ginger smoothie

smoothie

What you need: a sliced banana, 150 ml vanilla yoghurt, half a tablespoon of grated ginger

Method: Throw in all the ingredients and blend

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Benefits: Great for most stomach woes, soothes heartburn and nausea

Pineapple spinach smoothie with chia seeds

smoothie

What you need: a cup of spinach, one cup of almond milk/coconut milk/soy milk, one cup pineapple, one banana and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Method: Wash the spinach thoroughly, throw in all ingredients and blend until smooth

Benefits: Chia seeds are the healthiest food on the planet loaded with antioxidants high in fibre, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This is also a great detox drink.

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Pumpkin coconut smoothie

smoothie

What you need: a cup of coconut milk, a quarter cup of mashed pumpkin, two teaspoons pumpkin spice, one sliced banana.

Method: Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth

Benefits: It’s dairy and sugar-free with a ton of protein and is especially great for vegetarians.

Strawberry kiwi smoothie

smoothie

What you need: One and a quarter cup of apple juice, one sliced banana, one sliced kiwi, five strawberries, and one and a half teaspoon of honey

Method: Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth

Benefits: This drink is chock full of fibre, vitamin C and heart-healthy polyphenols.

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Magoha warns school heads over extra charges

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MOHAMED AHMED

By MOHAMED AHMED
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WINNIE ATIENO

By WINNIE ATIENO
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The Ministry of Education has barred principals from charging extra school fees, saying the government has abolished the levies, potentially bringing relief to thousands of overburdened parents.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha directed the school managers to use the gazetted fees structures.

“We have abolished extra levies and we are implementing only the gazetted school fees structure,” Prof Magoha said. Most extra-county boarding schools are charging between Sh53,000 and Sh60,000 per year.

Many parents have complained about being forced to pay extra money in undocumented school fees.

The fees, the parents have variously been told, would cater for borehole repairs, pay salaries for teachers hired through Boards of Management (BOM), and improve infrastructure, among other things.

“To avoid documentation that may attract sanctions, some schools have avoided listing the disputed items on formal fee structures and instead the new charges are communicated verbally but payment is mandatory,” Mr Ali Kassim, a parent, told the Nation.

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More than one million students have been enrolled in public secondary schools so far even as they grapple with massive congestion.

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“The ministry has placed 1,075,201 in public secondary schools, excluding inmates, adult learners and refugees in camps. The students were expected to report for admission from January 13 to 17. Some of the students may opt to join private secondary schools and this will be captured appropriately,” he said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that 1,088,986 candidates registered for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination last year and 1,083,456 sat for the tests.

Speaking during a meeting with security chiefs during their annual forum at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa, Prof Magoha announced the hiring of 10,000 intern teachers this year.

Some 339,752 trained teachers are from public and private schools. Teachers from special-needs schools had also been trained.

On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed security agencies to work with officials in the Ministry of Education to ensure all students join secondary schools.

“You must know how many children are in your region, how many are in school and those that aren’t. It is now your responsibility to ensure all children are in school,” he said.

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Jubilee MPs describe Duale, Murkomen as ‘untouchable’

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ONYANGO K’ONYANGO

By ONYANGO K’ONYANGO
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A showdown is looming in the ruling Jubilee Party after allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement chief Raila Odinga threatened to change the party’s leadership in the National Assembly and Senate.

Lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday laughed off the threats, saying it is a plot by the DP’s competitors who are out to break their party.

Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono dared those who want to spearhead the removal of Mr Kipchumba Murkomen as Senate majority leader, Mr Aden Duale as National Assembly majority leader and National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali from their positions to do so “and see how we will paralyse the business of both Houses”.

“Murkomen and Duale cannot be touched,” Mr Rono told the Nation by phone.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech criticised Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala for threatening to table a motion to change the House leadership, saying Mr Malala is a nobody in Jubilee.

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He added that such changes can only be done through a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting.

“Who is Malala to suggest that the Jubilee House leadership should be changed? On what basis should the two be removed? These busybodies do not understand what Murkomen and Duale have done to the government,” Mr Koech said.

“Our opponents think they can dictate to us what to do in our party. Just recently, they wanted the President to remove certain individuals from the Cabinet.”

On Saturday during the BBI consultative meeting at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Senator Malala and Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi joined the debate on removing Mr Murkomen and Mr Duale from their posts in the two Houses.

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Sources told the Nation that MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Joshua Kutuny (Cherang’any), Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa) and Muturi Kigano (Kangema) are discussing the move.

Mr Koech’s sentiments were echoed by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, who said those not happy with Mr Ruto succeeding the President want to scuttle his ambitions.

“Those used to deceitful politics are out to ensure our party is destroyed. Let them know that they will not succeed in their plans. We have plans too,” Mr Sudi said.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Aldai MP Cornelius Serem told Mr Odinga and his team to stop using the BBI as a weapon to meddle in Jubilee affairs.

“Suggesting changes in Senate and National Assembly leadership is pedestrian talk,” Mr Cherargei said.

“The ones saying that are not Jubilee members. Let them resign from their parties and move to Jubilee. We will not allow Raila and his team to destroy our party.”

Mr Serem said Jubilee has not been declared incapacitated and so there is no point of making claims meant to finish Mr Ruto, whom he described as an equal shareholder in the party just as Mr Kenyatta.

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Blame game at Moi varsity as learners miss marks

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DAVID MUCHUNGUH

By DAVID MUCHUNGUH
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Preparations for the graduation ceremony at Moi University in August last year were blemished by news of 700 students being left out of the list due to missing marks.

A few of them went to court to force the university to include them in the graduation list.

However, Moi University administrators stood their ground, insisting there were no records of grades for some units or that the students had fee balances.

The scourge of missing marks has stalled career take-offs and cost families and the economy an unquantified amount in opportunities and time.

“It’s one of the biggest problems facing universities. I got my transcripts for first year long after I graduated,” Collins Murimi, a graduate of Technology (Design) from the Technical University of Kenya, said.

Murimi told the Nation that things are bad and refers to an incident in 2017 when the whole class of interactive design was awarded a pass because their end of first semester exam results disappeared.

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Murimi, who is employed at a company that specialises in prefabricated house products, says many of his classmates lost valuable time when they were made to resit the tests.

David Wesonga graduated from Moi University in 2018, having studied for one year more than his contemporaries at other universities.

“You’d have to be very lucky to not miss marks,” he said.

Wesonga said he fails to understand why marks rarely go missing when a student repeats a unit.

Lecturers interviewed said students may have their marks if they sit examinations without registering for the units or if they have not cleared fees.

Some students admitted that lecturers allow them to sit the tests on the agreement that they would register.

Some, however, do not do so and the teachers cannot upload the marks onto the portal. “Marks for all my seven units that semester were missing. I got some of the grades after following up with lecturers, but I’d to resit the others,” Enoch Kirui, a fourth year student at the University of Nairobi, said.

He hopes to complete his studies in April despite a 2018 hitch when he was a third-year.

Kirui said students fear that long periods of study may make employers doubt their competence.

“It’s a systematic problem tied to how universities have to raise money to survive but which some students abuse,” a dean of faculty at a major public university said.

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A semester may end on a Friday, with the next one beginning the following Monday yet the institutions have to struggle to fill the funding gaps from the government, he said.

Students then proceed with studies without marks for the previous semester. Lecturers end up overworked and are given little time to mark the scripts.

The dean said some crafty students sign for sitting an examination but leave the room without submitting their scripts.

“They later put pressure on lecturers to give them marks or special examinations,” he said.

Some lecturers, however, blame students for not being serious with their work.

Rogue learners, they say, use missing marks as an excuse for hiding their sloth from their parents and guardians.

Prof Egara Kabaji of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology says some 60 per cent of missing marks cases “is a creation of students”.

He says learners who do not attend lectures, those who do not sit tests and the ones who fail, tell their families that lecturers lost their marks.

“There is an attendance roll for every examination. The onus is on the lecturer to produce the results. There should be nothing like missing marks,” he says.

Prof Kabaji admitted that there are genuine cases mainly occurring at universities “where there is mass production”.

He said lecturers handling hundreds — or even thousands — of students are overwhelmed by work.

“The quality of teaching and marking can be compromised,” the don says.

He suggests the use of foolproof technology like biometrics in examination rooms, adding, confirmation of the number of scripts submitted would remove doubt on whether or not one sat an examination.

“With this, it would make it easy for the administration to take action against negligent lecturers,” he says.

A number of students complain that lecturers refuse to upload their marks onto the system, insisting on sexual favours.

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