Fix disconnect between degrees and jobs


 Instead of producing many job seekers, it is time to produced job creators.

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Unemployment has for a long time dominated public discourse with everybody trying to figure out its cause and solution.

Kenya is among the African nations with a higher proportion of its population being young people, youth with skills and energy to spur development, only to bow to unemployment.

Blame is usually heaped on the government for not creating enough opportunities and a few senior officials awarding the few opportunities to them not on merit but on cronyism or corruption. This disadvantages the many college graduates searching for employment.

But this may not be the biggest challenge. It is not just about the government failing to create jobs; the rain is beating us right from our colleges, universities and other learning institutions.

I have been part of a project sponsored by the British Council—co-production for youth entrepreneurship in Kenya (Project CopYek), which incorporates KCA University, the University of Nottingham and the Youth Enterprise Fund—gone through several counties of Kenya to try and find out the youth’s problems.

I have mingled with a number of graduates from big institutions in Kenya. They will tell you that their learning of entrepreneurship at university has not been of any help to them.

A person will drop out of school after knowing how to read and write from Standard Four, start a business venture and flourish.

Then another person, who studied business as a subject in secondary school and spent four years in college studying a business and entrepreneurship-related course will seek a job from them.

It is not right at all.

Let the Education ministry restructure content delivery in institutions of higher learning. I think CBC was meant to but it may end up failing, as is usual.

Instead of producing many job seekers, it is time to produced job creators. Let us look at what countries such as China do.

Sebastian Karani Asava, via email