At the end of a landmark visit to Germany, President Uhuru Kenyatta has passionately spoken about the need to reform Kenya’s education system to meet the needs of its growing young population.
During a frenetic three-day visit, the President held fruitful talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, senior government officials and senior business executives on security, investment, tourism, trade, ease of doing business and the expanded democratic space.
Merkel called Kenya a strategic partner at the heart of Germany-Africa relations, and pledged her country’s commitment to deepening relations with the east African powerhouse.
Hours before he departed for home from Berlin, the President unveiled his reasons for seeking a reform of the education curricula, which he said did not meet the needs of Kenya’s young people.
Kenya’s transition rate to secondary education from primary school was high and the attrition continued after that, leaving many young people with few options in life.
Education curricula should address the challenges associated with students failing to attain minimum requirements to advance to the next levels of education, he said.
The President wants the minimum schooling to be a secondary education after which a student could go to college or vocational training.
Kenya has been grappling with the high number of students who fail to advance to the next level of education, because of failing examinations or other complexities, and drop outs were left with few real options.
“That transition gap is partly responsible for young people turning to vices because they have no option. A child who fails to go to secondary school when they are just 13 years old is condemned to a difficult future. We have to find a solution to these matters, the President said.
President Kenyatta said the Government was reviewing the country’s education curriculum to address the challenges associated with students failing to attain minimum requirements to advance to the next levels of education.
The President also used his visit to study the German model for vocational training, a government-supported private sector initiative that has cut unemployment to zero per cent in parts of Europe’s largest economy.
At a facility managed by the Berlin Chamber of Skilled Craft and Small Businesses, the President experienced first hand how the system works, with German companies supporting a programme of apprenticeships and scholarships largely for high school leavers across the country.
The programme is about the school leavers getting crafts and skills appropriate to the German industry and market. Companies support this programme to grow the skills they require.
Germany’s private sector spends 27 billion euros annually on the programme, training some half a million young people.
The President will send a delegation to Germany to closely study the model and examine its transferability and sustainability in the Kenyan environment, the President said.
On Thursday, the President toured the Berlin-based Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) – an Industrial Park specializing in combined technical and non-technical practical courses that meet the increased market demands — as part of his campaign to seek employment options for Kenya’s young people.