It is only logical that, given a chance, people will always rush to pick the best options on offer. However, the chances are always limited which means that many will definitely lose out. It is not any different in the students’ selection of university courses. This is why there is a need for proper guidance to place students in the courses that best suit them.
University and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi’s advice to the students is to choose careers over universities. He is concerned that most Form Four candidates prefer to be admitted to the University of Nairobi (UoN), ignoring more than 70 other institutions that offer the same courses as those given at the country’s oldest seat of higher learning.
Of course, as PS cautions, it is not possible to admit everybody at UoN. Instead of all going for UoN for medicine, for example, the candidates should be encouraged to consider Moi, Chuka, and Kisii universities.
They should do so after gauging their abilities, and to increase their chances of being selected should they score lower than the cut-off points at their university of choice. Many students fail to secure their preferred courses because of flawed selections.
As a result, the ministry gets overwhelmed by requests to have inter-university and inter-faculty transfers, interfering with the academic calendar and the progress of the learners.
This is a crisis that needs to be tackled by the principals and other teachers sensitising the candidates to help streamline course selection. However, the younger universities must also improve their capacity to competitively offer courses that attract the candidates. They must genuinely compete with the more established institutions.
Making the right career choices based on the students’ real talents is the best way to improve their employability in the job market.