The founder of DALC (Prof Humphrey Oborah) was young at 27 years age then and was very daring to challenge the status quo while very ready to try new concepts. Whereas everyone believed that education is about going to school, listening to teachers and awaiting examinations, he dared introduce early Talent Based Learning through the DALC college and insisted that students do not need to do written examinations. This was back in the year 2001 when Kenya and most Africa were very routed to strict admissions and examinations processes.
To state that an institution can admit a student who failed or rather did not meet the required grades for admission to college or university, was indeed a big sin in the eyes of many university dons and education stakeholders and the media. You can imagine someone saying “we shall admit you if you have low grades or none at all, for a degree, as long as it can be explained”… and way back nearly 20 years ago in Africa. You can still imagine him adding “ you don’t need to sit an exam to attain a degree”…. Obviously, there was immediate ridicule and many thought that the guy was an idiot and very fake.
However, the knowledge, exposure and belief in Prof. Oborah was so strong that he aligned himself only with institutions that somehow fitted in his frame of thinking. By then University of Cambridge International Examinations(CIE) had started Diploma programmes that was project based and thus eliminating written examinations. Working with a number of like-minded educationists, international colleagues and professors, at that time, he dared to start the programs in Kenya through the British Council. This progressed with professors at Cambridge and other UK universities using their associations ( Cambridge and Oxford Associations of Management) to start international programs. They would be supported by their parent universities. This is much the same as what many professional bodies have been doing in the UK like ACCA, ABE, etc in tapping the expertise of their professionals to offer international courses. DALC jumped onto this new and emerging opportunity.
These all became instant relief to many Kenyans and Africans who had been denied access to higher education due to low or lack of required grades. From a three roomed college at Kazi Plaza ( Now Ngong Road Professional centre) near Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi, the college quickly grew to have other centres in Nairobi West, Buru Buru, Westlands and Hurlingham in Nairobi. The demand continued with parents seeking hostels in Nairobi from as far away as Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru , etc. Shortly there were students from Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, Cameroon, Burundi, Nigeria, Ethiopia and many other African countries. People found a solution and from a prestigious institution. Of course, there were initial doubts until the first group of only 4 candidates submitted their projects and succeeded. Copies of their certificates became instant marketing tools. The growth became phenomenal and the DALC and its founder became the jealously for many.