A group of counselors and psychologists from Nakuru County has teamed up with a US-based organisation to improve education outcomes in the area.
Spearheaded by the Kenya Peer Counselors Association in collaboration with the Gates Education Group and Serien Education Center, the project provides a platform for parents to work with professional Counselors to test their children’s abilities in order to help them pursue disciplines they are good in.
20-year-old Evelyn Muthemba sounds focused, optimistic and enthusiastic. She is an attendee at the 21-day clinic that helps one identify their potential to a specific discipline.
Muthemba began attending the clinic after she realized she could not pick a pathway to a gratifying career from her short courses in computer science, Psychology and community nursing. She is among thousands of youth in the country who pick courses at the university only to end up in odd careers.
However, a new concept by the Kenya Peer Counselors Association in collaboration with the Gates Education Group is promising a paradigm shift. The platform assists students to identify their abilities in order to help them pursue disciplines they have potential in.
Counselors driving the model say the concept is aligned with reforms in the revised curriculum that is tailored to enable learners to become adaptive and competitive in the face of rapid modernisation.
The founder of the clinic Dr. John Muriithi is a professional counselor, an educationist, and theChairperson of the Kenya Peer Counselors Association.
Dr.Mureithi says the clinic is effective for children aged four years and above and teenagers. He explains that at this time, the brain of the child is fully developed and the retention rate for knowledge is high. At the clinic, professional counselors are able to study a child`s innate strength and weaknesses and predetermine a child’s career.
Dr. Mureithi says the clinic is aligned with the reforms in the revised competence-based curriculum that is tailored to enable learners to become adaptive and competitive in the face of rapid modernisation.
He says timely identification of abilities among learners helps to enrich the country`s human resource pool as higher learning institutions train the right manpower for specific careers and this motivates innovation a key ingredient of value-based economies.
A parent Jane Kanihu applauds the clinic for assisting her daughter pick a right course at theUniversity. She says the clinic is effective in helping young people find self-actualization.
She says her daughter could not settle for a particular programme to study but upon introduction to the clinic, she picked a course that she now enjoys to study and looks forward to creating a career in the discipline.
Kanihu appeals to parents to enroll their children to the clinic to be able to help them know their gifts and pursue careers that are personally fulfilling.
Psychotherapists Dr.Cecilia Muthami and Daisy Kariuki say the clinic is an oasis of hope to young people who are keen on channeling their energies and resources to what build prospects for their success in education or extracurricular investment.
Learners are subjected to a three-step screening which involves oral screening entailing a verbal chat between a counselor and a learner. Then software screening psycho questions are posed and performance is evaluated.
Finally, an expert scans their bodies with a specialized machine that transmits images in-depth analysis of the brain and responses to the questions in stages one and two.
After a comprehensive analysis of the learner`s ability, a recommendation is issued for a specific area where a learner can pursue their goals.
Muthemba lauds the concept saying she hopes it will enable her to realize her abilities and choose a definite career.
She calls on her peers to join the progressive clinic where she says is a tool that can help them to take aim at their elusive goals with pinpoint accuracy.
In a country that has shifted focus to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the initiative may provide the country a practical means of foretelling its career space in years to come if widely adopted.