What you need to know:
- Offering quality education now will translate into a more thriving economy in the future.
Recently, a website made an outrageous claim that the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) will stop funding students pursuing engineering courses in Kenya. The author of the document stated that there is no use in studying calculus when it will not be used in future.
The story was shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media channels, ultimately going viral. This falsehood turned out to be quite malicious, since after it was spread on social media, young people began to question their career choices and started reweighing their options.
The truth is that engineering remains one of the most promising careers of the 21st century, and Helb should give the students pursuing engineering courses the extra push and assistance they need.
Helb is one of the government’s initiatives to improve the Kenyan education system by giving loans and bursaries to college and university students. As of May, the board was allocated a budget of more than Sh12 billion.
There are many young people in Kenya who may build more resilience during this Covid-19 pandemic than the generations before them. However, they face many challenges including lack of finance and access to good educational facilities besides the global health pandemic.
But these factors need not prevent them from achieving their dreams. Engineering degrees are some of the most difficult ones in higher education, but it is well known that those who persevere in it are likely to reap major rewards later.
Not only are these jobs well paying, but they are also in high demand.
So if you were a student considering signing up for an engineering course in the next few months and temporarily believed the false information spread online, fear not. The government is still pursuing the ongoing goal of making sure that Kenyans are among the best educated on the African continent.
Offering quality education now will translate into a more thriving economy in the future. The Vision 2030 development goals cannot be attained without a skilled workforce to carry out complex infrastructural projects.
The government’s development goals require highly skilled workers to figure out and implement the complicated logistics. For example, we need engineers developing transportation systems as well as getting Kenya fully connected to the electricity grid, as well as eventual internet access to all Kenyans.
These things really come in handy, particularly during times of crisis. Many primary and high school students in our country’s most remote counties have been stuck at home over the past few months without stable access to computers and internet, preventing them from connecting with teachers and keeping on track with their studies.
However, with the new Helb loans and scholarships, students who otherwise would have very limited upward mobility options will, in the coming years, be able to change their professional and economic outlook.
And when they join the workforce as highly skilled careerists, they will also be able to give back more to Kenya and help us build ourselves into a middle income country.
Even though the Covid-19 crisis has imposed upon us a particularly difficult challenge and has set us back in many ways, it does not mean that we should throw in the towel.
Certainly, there will be many struggles on the way until we as a nation reach a place of prosperity and economic stability, but it is an interesting journey to take part in.
So young people, my advice is this: you have many opportunities from the government to develop as an individual and learn from highly educated professors. Why not take advantage of the many opportunities at your doorstep?