Do not scrap business courses in TVETs

Ezekiel Machogu

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. Machogu urged the principals of the national polytechnics, Tvet institutions and teacher training colleges to promote Stem courses.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi I Nation Media Group

The government’s decision to withdraw business courses from the technical and vocational education and training (TVETs) is a bad proposition.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu recently directed TVETs to phase out business courses for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) in the next three years.

Every course is paramount, and nobody should be left out. Where will the business trainers and students, for example, go?

Secondly, every professional needs to have business skills. They must understand business concepts to know how to charge clients. And entrepreneurship contributes to economic growth.

Thirdly, the job market is currently not conducive for Stem graduates, with about a million of them scrambling for space in a few industries. Fourth, we live in a business world; a graduate who’s not ‘fluent’ in the business language is detrimental to trade.

Fifth, we need to stabilise the economy using business knowledge offered in business courses in TVETs. They are more practical than theoretical degrees.

Rodgers Otiso, Migori

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The scrapping of business courses in TVETs is imprudent. The business skills that the students attain while learning the technical courses are put into practice upon graduation.

One of the units, entrepreneurship skills, is taught by lecturers who have done business and administration courses at the university or technical college. They also teach basic accounting skills and business law.

I am a retired technical teacher. I know how these inter-related courses produce a well-rounded technical graduate who can handle both technical and business management skills seamlessly. 

These courses should not be scrapped. First, TVETs have invested heavily in the courses in terms of human resources, textbooks, libraries and physical infrastructure, which will be idle. 

Secondly, many students commute from home, reducing the need for boarding facilities, hence a lighter cost burden.

Thirdly, most of the lecturers are employed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and will be rendered redundant. 

Fourth, the interaction between technical students and those taking business management is healthy for interpersonal relations and future relationships.

Lastly, let the ministry consult widely before implementing the directive. The issue should be subjected to public participation before it is implemented to prevent hiccups in the technical education and training sub-sector. 

Samuel Muchai, Kiambu


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