Do good KCSE grades and degrees matter for future success? [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Education is a priority, never an option

Education CS George Magoha during a tour of Kisumu and Vihiga counties

After the release of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, a debate has arisen on the grades scored and the impact on the future. The debate has created a crazy division to the extent of brushing off the importance of education. Well, the battle is unnecessary and the direction taken is absurd; extremely uncalled for. Stooping to the level of dismissing the significance of education was a little bit off the line.

At the advent of the conversation, it is important to state that education is a crucial element in our social wellbeing. Every aspect of our lives can be attained through education. Dismissing good grades or making fun of them is a new low. We cannot sacrifice learners who have worked so hard to achieve the best possible grades at the altar of bitterness. Good work must be celebrated and rewarded accordingly. Any move to taint their image is a futile one and ill-informed.

The Best Approach

The conversation we should be having is how to find harmony between the top performers and the rest. In other words, finding a central position where skills and education are brought to par ought to be our concern. The invalid argument that the educated work for the uneducated stands on the wrong ground as it means that all the educated have little or no skill at all. Entrepreneurial skills are not limited to those who do not pursue higher learning; in contrast, when they do, they have better chances of success since they start from an informed point of view; based on the various case studies.

Good governance in society can be measured by the level of empowerment in the education system. If education were as bad as it is painted by some quarters. The governments across the world would not be spending so heavily on the education structures and system. Kenya spent Sh.494.8 billion on education in 2019 according to the budgetary allocations. United Kingdom budgetary allocation for education in 2019/20 was £90.3 billion while the United States of America spent $612.7 billion. This shows the seriousness given by the governments to education.

The Giant in the House

Another area of concern is the choices learners make when joining institutions of higher learning. Most learners pursue the courses posted to them by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in the Kenyan context. Rarely do they pursue what they are passionate about. This brings out a bunch of learners who have no interest in the careers they are trained for. And this is the breed of educated people who are mocked by society.

The rate of youth unemployment which stands at 38.9 per cent, according to Census 2019 data, also paints the educated Kenyans negatively. It makes educated youths appear to have wasted time learning.

Solution

The solutions to the problems highlighted are simple; learners should pursue what they are passionate about and the government should create more employment opportunities.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Gichimu Njeri (pictured) is a bilingual wordsmith, poet and a seasoned educator who loves reading. He has a soft spot for matters youth and children which make them major characters in his works. "Jomo and the Wild Cats", "Whitened Black and Other Poems" and "Ari ya Pasha" are some of his published works.

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