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It is high time to refine policies for youths to ‘breathe’

By Fredrick Banja | Sep 26th 2020 | 3 min read
Mr. Fredrick Banja

Education is the key to any economic growth for any country.  It should also be noted that information is the lifeblood of any organisation.  An informed nation can easily manage its resources for the benefit of its people.

It is therefore the responsibility of every government to ensure that her people get the knowledge that they so need to develop their country.

The Kenyan government saw it fit to establish the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to help the needy students acquire higher education by providing them with cheap loans so that they can acquire the much-needed education and be able to contribute to the country's economic development.

The Loans have however turned out to be a thorn in the flesh of these innocent youths.

It is public knowledge that the unemployment rate in our country is very high and that it takes an average of 10 years for a young graduate to secure employment.  Some never get lucky at all in their lifetime to secure any job.

The youths finally get listed with the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) by HELB. It, therefore, means that the youth’s efforts to even start a business and get access to financial services offered by both commercial banks and government agencies like the Youth Fund and Women Funds are near nil.

Many times we have heard the government complaining and blaming youths that they are not applying for government funds like the Youth Funds.

I am not sure that the same government is not aware that almost more than half of the eligible youths are listed by Credit Reference Bureaus while the remaining half just turned 35 years and a day old which make them disqualified because according to the government policy, you must be exactly 35 years of age and below and you should not even exceed the age limit by one day. The results are always that all the money would be returned to the National Treasury by these agencies on account that the youths did not turn up to take the money. Most of the monies would also disappear through graft.

It is also sad to note that the few youths who would be lucky to access these funds to carry out government jobs or tenders would not get paid in time or would not be paid completely.  Failure to honor payments for goods secured to supply to the tenders will see the majority again listed at the CRB, joining their colleagues who never qualified in the first place and so we ask ourselves.

Considering how the country loses money through corruption, it is my formed opinion that education should be free from basic education to higher education.  Higher education institutions should be innovative enough to carry out commercial activities including manufacturing to boost their income and finance their research activities. 

Young graduates should pick skills from these enterprises and some of whom to be absorbed in these organisations. A case in study is the most University and Rivetex Ltd.

The writer is an IT expert

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