I have been thinking about the education system in Kenya and one question keeps crossing my mind. Could the saying, It is better to be lucky than to be educated be true?
Today, if you stroll in the streets and suburbs of towns in this country, you will meet many elite scholars employed in fields they never trained for. Jobs like selling eggs along the streets, pushing ‘mkokoteni’ (hand-cut), and working at ‘mjengo’ sites among other odd jobs for their status.
What dismays me is the fact that people have agreed to go through the stress of education, paying huge school fees only to settle on odd jobs. The painful irony being that your employer is a school dropout.
My friend Polycap from Ndhiwa is a teacher by profession. Since he graduated, he has failed to secure a job. He, therefore, opted to farm. He says he wasted money and time in one of the higher learning institutions, training to be a teacher only to end up into farming.
Mr. Polycap is lamenting. He always says that if he could have been given the money ‘wasted’ in his education for 4 good years, he could be a millionaire by now. According to him, there are grey areas in education which ought to be looked into.
Another friend of mine, Billy, does menial jobs at a construction site popularly known as ‘mjengo’. Painfully, this ally is a trained IT expert. He has applied for several jobs within and outside Kisumu County but there has not been any positive response. Apart from his legit certificates, he says most employers require him to have a minimum of 3 years’ experience. He was torn between getting an institution to acquire skills in line with his career or perhaps continue working at a construction site.
This is the fate of many graduates, especially youths in this country.
Interesting, Colleges and Universities continue admitting students who end up jobless.
It was a relief to some of these unemployed graduates when the government brought on board the ‘Kazi mtaani’ project. Although it’s not a lasting solution, at least these youths won’t sleep on empty bowels or even be locked out of their rented houses.
Now my main concern and question is this, Is the Kenyan education system losing its value? If yes, then where did we lose the path?
Honestly, Kenyan education lost its value a long while ago.
Education has ceased to be the key to success in this country. The padlock was changed, changed by us. If these two things below are not carefully looked into, then there is no need of seeking education currently.
People go to school to study not what they are passionate about but what they have been advised to study. Parents have a habit of forcing their children to study what they think is right for them.
Someone is passionate about fashion and design, but because the parents think fashion and design is not a decent profession, they force their child into studying education. This child graduates but not a passionate teacher. A teacher who can’t deliver.
To change this, we should allow our kids to choose professions for themselves. This will allow us to have people who can deliver passionately.
Corruption has been and is still a menace in this country. It has manifested in our clergy and our 4th estate. Job seekers are forced to bribe for employment consideration.
Elsewhere, nepotism and tribalism take center stage when recruiting staff. It doesn’t matter how good I am, if I can’t provide ‘tea’, then I better not apply for the job.
However hard it is, we should endeavor to eradicate corruption right from our homes, our societies, and our country at large. In doing so, our education will have meaning.