Why youths should focus on acquisition of practical skills

Framework for 21st Century Learning. ILLUSTRATION/Courtesy.

Gone are the days when employment was immediately secured within one’s first week after graduation from a university, college or tertiary institution.

There were days when even Kenyans with form four certificates were sure to secure a good paying job.

Nowadays, things have gradually changed.

Immediately after graduating from a higher institution of learning, graduates should drop the graduate face and start hustling like a school dropout until he or she secures a well-paying job after a long period of suffering.

In most cases, not all graduates make it through this long-suffering period; some become victims of suicide and depression.

Still others get mental disorders out of frustrations and hard state of life.

Should we continue watching as the future of this country gets doomed?

Should we continue lying to our young people that life is cheaper immediately after graduating?

How will we convince the future generation that education is the key when they are openly seeing poor, mentally-disturbed and depressed graduates?

Should we keep on pressing our youths to pay higher education loans when they cannot even sustain themselves?

Should we keep on increasing the number of graduates in the nation but at the same increasing the number of criminals, robbers, smugglers and peddlers all out of lack of employment?

And last question, should we keep on seeing the future of this nation diminish through suicide out of depression?

Nobody is ready to see a depressed nation in the future.

It is now a good opportunity that the youths of this nation have to be told the reality of life.

No more lies should be inserted into their heads that after graduating, getting a well-paying job is guaranteed.

In fact, all learning institutions have to start training students how to create jobs and not how to be employed.

We spent a lot of time studying bulky books in classes, lecture halls and libraries but fail to be practical on what I term as ‘being practical on ground.’

Why should I spend the whole of four years studying business management when I have never started even selling boiled eggs on the plot where I stay?

Why should I spend four years studying renewable energy when I do not know how a solar panel looks like?

Why should I spent four years studying a Bachelor of education degree when I have never even offered to offer tuition to a neighbor’s child?

Are we really being realistic or we are lying to each other?

While in higher learning places; universities and colleges included, students tend to waste a lot of time on useless things.

This is a meaningful time that they would have used to train themselves on how to be practical on ground hence preparing themselves to face the tough economic state of the nation.

The current unemployment rate in the country requires well prepared minds full of skills in various fields to be handled.

Students have a humble time in higher learning centers to train themselves and gain experience on various skills that will help them survive after graduation as they wait to secure employment somewhere.

This will help us as youths to avoid depression, suicide and mental disorders out of frustrations.

Thinking Big is all we need to do so that we can identify what can we do that is practical on ground that will help us continue surviving during that long period of waiting for employment chance to show up.

Let us consider three cases of university students who can be taken as being practical on ground;

Mr. Brian Were is a second year JKUAT student pursuing Bachelor of Science degree in Renewable energy and Environmental Physics.

He is an active member in YASA which is a youth’s agency that impacts lives of many youths.

Mr Were is also a young CEO of Begi Bora solutions which is a company he intends to establish that converts used diapers into useful packing bags to replace plastic paper bags that were banned by the government.

He holds many certificates which he was awarded in various events that he attended.

He was a panelist during the International Youths Day held In August at the University of Nairobi.

The second case involves a lady; Ms. Mary Nyende who is a third year student at JKUAT pursuing a degree in business field.

She hawks biscuits and sweets in the parks within the university and she is currently participating in JKUSA awards as the entrepreneur of the year.

The last case is Ms. Christine Murugi who is also a JKUAT student.

She sells popcorns in various events outside the campus but within Nairobi, she holds a position in YASA which is a youth’s organization.

She is the CEO of Just Food and Events-a young company that does food delivery in events.

From the cases outlined, youths should know how to brand themselves, how to use the available opportunity to make ends meet and how to start depending on themselves rather than calling their parents every time they are in need of finances.

It is shameful for a more than 18 year old person fully depending on his or her parents just because he or she was not practical on ground, just because he or she cannot think big and do something meaningful that can earn him or her even extra ten shillings.

Youths have to wake up from the slumber and realize that things are not the same like they used to be.

Join many youths organizations to learn more just like Brian and Christine in the cases mentioned above.

Invest the little you got rather than spending it on party after party and brand yourself as early as this.

It is s only during our time in universities and colleges that we can think big and have many ideas.

Those whom we associate with matter a lot as far as branding ourselves is concerned.

You can never be a successful CEO when all your friends are blunt smokers.

You can never be a quality activist when you have no link to great activists.

You can never be a successful footballer when you do not keep in touch with your coach.

How we prioritize our friends in that WhatsApp contact list matters a lot.

Do away with fake friends who only teach you on how to party but can never tell you how to survive in real world.

We have to start teaching our youths on how to depend on themselves rather than doing everything to them including securing jobs for them through corruption, nepotism and tribalism.

Let us teach the young nation the reality of life and stop lying to them that all is well, No, it is not well.

The real world is full of depression, frustrations, suicide and crime waiting for them once they leave those learning places.

We need to empower youths with entrepreneurial skills which are the easiest surviving tricks in the real world.

The way we define a degree certificate has to change, let us not define a degree as an instrument of getting well-paying jobs.

Instead let us define it as a sign of having a lot of skills to survive in real the world.

Unless we do this, we will continue filling the nation with unemployed graduates who will thereafter turn into criminals.

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