Education PS urges students to consider art as a source of income

Elizabeth Mburu presents a choral verse 'Misongosongo' during the Nairobi region colleges drama festival in Nairobi at Railway Training Institute. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Education PS Simon Nabukwesi has urged university and college students to take performing arts seriously, saying it is an employment opportunity with huge potential.

Addressing Kenyatta University students, Kitui campus, during this year's central and eastern universities regional drama festival, the PS said drama is a profession recognised globally. "It is one of the growing economic sectors with low capital investment. But like any other profession, success in drama requires discipline, hard work and confidence," said Mr Nabukwesi. He called on students to be creative and innovative.

The PS was among the guests entertained with plays, poems, spoken word narratives and modern dances by students from eight universities during the two-day festival, the first one after the Covid-19 disruptions in 2020. 

Mr Nabukwesi reiterated the government's commitment to invest in the arts and entertainment sectors, saying the move would not only create jobs for Kenyan youth but also promote tourism and Kenyan culture. 

To ensure future employment in the entertainment sector, Mr Nabukwesi said the government will increase local content to 60 per cent from the current 40 per cent in local free-to-air TV channels. 

The PS said under the Competency-Based Curriculum, the idea was to identify and nurture talent from an early age while providing holistic quality education that requires graduates to acquire minimum basic competencies at every grade and level. "We are also going to pay particular attention to Information Communication and Technology as a very critical subject of study, as well as a tool for curriculum delivery and development of creative arts," he said.

Mr Nabukwesi said the Education ministry would create networking forums and partnerships to ensure students benefit from their talents. Stephen Malala, the Secretary-General for Central and Eastern Universities regional drama festival, said creative arts are a big opportunity for employment for the youth.

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