Engineers celebrate world engineering day in Isiolo, mentoring school girls to join the profession
BY BRUNO MUTUNGA
Members of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya yesterday held celebrations to mark World Engineering Day, spending the better part of the afternoon engaging school girls at St. Mary’s Girls Secondary School in an interactive session meant to encourage them to embrace Mathematics and Science subjects that will enable them to pursue the profession and help address the shortage in the number of female engineers in the Country as compared to their male counterparts.
Led by the chairperson, Institution of Engineers of Kenya Isiolo County chapter Roy Okello and Dr Hussein Jama, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s department of mechanical engineering, the engineers attributed the shortage of female engineers in the country to a belief among school girls that mathematics and science subjects are difficult, making them to instead focus on other subjects that are not considered for one to pursue a course in engineering. Eng. Grace Mativo, a specialist in BioSystems Engineering called upon parents to desist from choosing careers for their children and instead support them to pursue careers of their choice.
She noted that there are instances where people graduate from the university but attribute their choice of career to parental influence, making them to spend more time and resources to pursue another course that they love later in their life. She said that female engineers in the country are a paltry 23% of the total number of engineers registered with the Engineers Board of Kenya and the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.
She however noted that the number of female students taking up engineering courses at the university in recent years was on an upward trajectory. The School Principal Mrs Jean Kivuti lauded the move by engineers to choose her school for the mentorship exercise to mark World Engineering Day, expressing optimism that the girls would focus more on science and mathematics courses to meet the requirements of pursuing engineering courses.