Mentorship programmes laying firm foundation for our youths

Student mentorship programmes play a key role in shaping attitudes, learning cultures, and nurturing skills of students. [iStockphoto]

The implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is a game-changer in the quest to revolutionise our education, even as policymakers continue working on models to make it more effective.

As the old system is phased out for a more innovative substitute, initial assessments point to a sustainable path towards innovative education that will continually meet industry demands and meaningfully nurture younger generations. For the CBC curriculum to succeed and be embraced by students, targeted mentorship programmes should be looped into its conceptual framework.

Student mentorship programmes play a key role in shaping attitudes, learning cultures, and nurturing skills of students. Strengthening the mindset of learners from an early age goes a long way towards ensuring they are better positioned to make important career choices and comfortably settle within the local and global economic set ups.

Today, the growth of technology has brought about massive developments within society, including artificial intelligence and robotics. Production, manufacturing, packaging, monitoring and evaluation can now be done at the click of a button or be scheduled using a computer programme. As such, the opportunities to do certain jobs decline by the day as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) take over.

Notably, it is very encouraging to see our basic education model shift towards important aspects of human development such as training sessions in emotional intelligence, communication, project management, entrepreneurship, critical thinking and leadership.

Highlighting and stressing these, among others, will be key in our journey towards having the younger generations embrace innovative education. Consequently, accelerating this will depend on the quality of mentorship programmes we have for the young, and how effective they are.

About one million students graduate from universities and other learning institutions every year which means we need at least one million opportunities in terms of jobs and entrepreneurial ventures to accommodate this output.

Preparing students for the rigours of life requires consistent mentorship. This will help them appreciate their skills and grow to contribute economically and socially to the growth of the country.

The government’s Elimu Scholarship and Equity Bank’s Wings To Fly beneficiaries have benefitted greatly from joint mentorship programmes organised by Equity Bank, the government and stakeholders within the education sector. Such initiatives aimed at penetrating all corners of the country will play a key role in helping us lay a firm foundation for young adults in society.

Africa is endowed with a vast amount of natural resources. These are, however, under constant pressure from its growing population, a huge chunk of which is under 35 years. As we seek to revolutionise our education, the literacy levels among young Africans is rising faster than the global average.

This also means that the demand for jobs will consistently be higher than the global average. The big question is, do we have the facilities and the capability to accommodate a sudden surge in literacy levels and job demand?

According to World Bank estimates, Africa’s working age population will grow to 450 million by 2035. However, only 100 million jobs will be available to them. This leaves a massive deficit and a huge burden on policymakers and stakeholders to ensure that our own young men and women have an environment in which they can thrive and create opportunities for themselves.

As modernism becomes entrenched in society, our socio-economic and cultural needs will become even more complicated. How well we raise our children and the kind of mentorship we make available to them will define how comfortable society will turn out to be in the next few years. The CBC curriculum is a good fit for our needs.

-Mr Kwanzu is a teacher at St Austins Academy in Lavington, Nairobi