A university lecturer has embarked on guiding students transiting from secondary schools to universities on career choices tailored to meet market needs.
Dr Ronald Michieka, a lecturer at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, observes that many youths are engaged in jobs unrelated to courses they pursued.
Dr Michieka, who teaches Mathematics and Science, says there is need to assist future workers in pursuing career paths they are passionate about and access opportunities globally.
“There has been inadequate and inconsistent career guidance services in schools. This has led to career misalignment as youths get equipped with skills they never use rendering them technically jobless,” said Michieka.
To bridge the gap, the don has brought together a team of career counsellors comprising of tutors from different universities and technical institutes under the Micron Academic and Career Support Centre.
“We are targeting Form Four leavers in five counties. Soon, we shall be engaging those still in secondary school to make informed choices to pursue the right careers and personal goals,” he said.
He explained that the programme brings on board both students and their parents with a view of creating an understanding between them on why a child should or should not make particular choices.
“We place the academics, personal interests and talents for a student on the table and identify their strengths. We ensure the parent and the child get to the same page before enrolling in a university or college,” he said.
The lecturer noted that leaving the decision to the child or the parent is partly to blame for wrong career choices that haunt the learner in future when they have run out of time.
“Parents at times dictate what they want their child to be. Children also go for courses due to their fancy names. In both, the child ends up with skills that are of no value to them,” said Michieka.
He further noted that most students leave the decision on their careers to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
Zadella Osiemo, who scored a B Plus in the 2021 KCSE exams, stressed that the lack of career guidance has left most students pursuing careers with a view of being employed instead of being job creators.
“There is need for an opportunity for extensive consultation before one decides which career to pursue and especially why a specific one. Information gap has made most students pursue careers tailored for being employed rather than creating employment for themselves,” said Osiemo.
Michieka said that the programme wwill continue with a plan to expand it to include more support to the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).