Kenya must safeguard its education system
Posted Thursday, August 30 2012 at 17:50
- The country’s strength has and continues to be in the skills of its people in the various spheres of life and in economic pursuits.
- This edition of the Edge has tried to dissect and map out the origins and the makings of this resilient human resource base that has and continues to be the mainstay of the country’s slow and turbulent advancement. (Download here)
In the 50 years that Kenya has existed as an independent state -- free from colonial rule -- the country has defied numerous challenges to become a regional economic powerhouse.
Yet this is a country that unlike its peers in the region has not had the advantage of a rich natural resource base that remains the bedrock of whatever little success its peers in the region have realised.
Slowly, but surely, Kenya has moved to occupy a key place in eastern Africa -- attracting a continuous stream of foreign investment to a level that compares well with the mineral rich neighbours whose main source of attractiveness remains the minerals.
This level of competitiveness without the support of a rich natural resource base has raised the question as to what makes the country tick.
A number of explanations have been given -- including the strategic location of the country -- almost in the middle of the lengthy eastern coast of Africa that runs from South Africa to Egypt.
Improvement in the country’s infrastructure has also played its role -- making it easy for business and ordinary citizens to move around and communicate more easily and cheaply than they ever did before.
But the one thing that has become clear in the recent times is that Kenya has and continues to rely on the ingenuity and entrepreneurial mindset of its population to favourably compete on the regional and global stage.
The country’s strength has and continues to be in the skills of its people in the various spheres of life and in economic pursuits.
This edition of the Edge has tried to dissect and map out the origins and the makings of this resilient human resource base that has and continues to be the mainstay of the country’s slow and turbulent advancement.
Our delving into this matter has led us into many directions, starting from how poverty and deprivation affect the development of skilled human resource base.
Then there is the role that early childhood development and education has played in giving Kenya a strong foundation for success and the space that the schools curriculum has occupied in the mix.
Having adopted a new education system in the 1980s that requires learners to go through eight years of primary education, four years in high school and another four in university, so many doubts have been cast on the quality of graduates that the system produces.
Challenges remain, but the good news as is attested to in stories carried here is that Kenyans have remained as competent as ever both locally and internationally.
The bottom line is that Kenya remains positioned in a pivotal position to take the crown competitiveness in the region, but success will require a real hard look at the system of education and its continuous refining.