Education: Guide candidates on degree courses

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 00:00 |

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Several years ago, it was almost mandatory for students to make course selection they would pursue in universities in their last year of secondary education.

During that time, teachers took the centre stage in guiding the candidates in degree programmes they would fit in, since they have a clear understanding of their strengths.

More often than not, an accusing finger has also been pointed at some parents, who, hoping to realise their dreams through their children, misguide them on courses they should take and end up doing  to please their parents but not what they are passionate about.

It is now emerging that some candidates are forced to pick courses after finishing Form Four with no proper guidance from parents and teachers.

Ideally, the selection exercise for courses should begin at the school level.

Teachers, especially those in charge of career departments, are expected to guide their candidates to ensure they prudently select degree, diploma, certificate and artisan programmes depending on their choices and academic abilities.

That is why we find the directive by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, that the ministry will not spare secondary schools that fail to facilitate course selection for Form Four learners, timely.

Data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service indicate that only 24 per cent of the 10,237 secondary schools in the country submitted choices for 2020 KCSE candidates.

The low participation by schools in the selection process is an indictment on career teachers who must have failed to carry out their duties.

Similarly, the fact that the ministry noted reluctance in some regions where most KCSE candidates fail to apply for courses in technical institutions or universities should also be addressed.

There is some optimism that in future, learners in the Competency Based Curriculum will make better choices since it is programmed in a manner that identifies learners’ talents at an early age.

Instead of going to the university to do a course they are not even sure of, career guidance would go a long way in ensuring candidates are empowered on their talents and preferences after school.

It is about time teachers and parents guide the students in making the best career choices.

Just like Magoha stated, the systemic failure in schools forwarding course applications for candidates should be taken seriously.

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