Woodwork and metalwork are some of the technical subjects that are less attractive to candidates sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, new data shows.
Among all optional subjects, woodwork and metal work attract less students, especially females, according to statistics released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
For example, in 2017 there were no female students who registered to sit metalwork. However, in the same year, there were 115 male students who sat the subject.
In 2018, there were 159 students who sat metalwork, of which 158 were male.
In the same year, there were 319 candidates who sat woodwork, of which 316 were male.
In 2017, building and construction attracted 281 candidates – 12 female and 269 male – while in 2018 there were 292 of which 290 were male.
Power mechanics had 166 candidates in 2017, with only five being female, while 220 sat the subject in 2018, of which 12 were female.
Other subjects that attract less students are drawing and design with 715 and 744 in 2017 and 2018 respectively; aviation had 101 students in 2017 and 117 in 2018; while music had 1,395 candidates in 2017 and 1,430 in 2018.
The technical subjects are optional, falling under Group 4/5, almost playing the role of fillers in schools since candidates register to sit eight subjects.
However, some subjects that fall in this category, according to the KNBS breakdown, have attracted a big number of students.
For example, business studies, which in 2017 had 270,754 candidates and later went up to 277,981 in 2018 and computer studies, which had 13,475 students in 2017 and 15,698 in 2018.
Agriculture had 247,270 candidates in 2017 and 280,241 in 2018. Home science had 15,511 in 2017 and 16,678 in 2018.
In the just-released KCSE results, 446,510 of the 667,772 candidates will end up in technical training colleges for some of the hands-on courses, since they scored C plain and below, hence did not qualify for placement to universities.
“I particularly wish to encourage Kenyans to allow their children to pursue courses in the now vibrant technical vocation education and training sector,” said Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha during the release of this year’s KCSE results.
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