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Assist students select courses, CS Magoha

The Ministry of Education has expressed concerns over the low participation by schools and career teachers in guiding students in the selection of courses at colleges and universities level.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha said lack of proper guidance has resulted in candidates selecting competitive courses in all the four options or end up only selecting competitive courses, which leaves them frustrated after failing to meet the minimum cluster points for the courses they selected.

“This is a bad indictment on our career teachers who must have failed to carry out their duty,” stressed Prof. Magoha.

He at the same time noted that reluctance in some regions where most Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates (KCSE) failed to apply for courses in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The CS who singled out Mandera, Garissa and Wajir counties as some of the affected areas, said the failure by students to apply for TVET courses was against the government’s policy of leaving no one behind in the education sector.

“We appeal to leaders in the affected counties to encourage and mobilize their young people who have qualified for admission to universities and colleges to apply each year,” urged Magoha.

He announced that out of the 142,540 candidates who qualified for degree programmes, 134, 690 applied for courses of their choice of which 128, 073 were placed in degree programmes and 6,617 on TVET programmes. A total of 7,850 candidates did not apply for courses.

The CS directed the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) to roll out a campaign countrywide for sensitizing candidates, teachers and parents on the correct process of course selection to ensure candidates make the right choices.

Prof. Magoha was speaking today during the release of the placement results of students to universities and colleges for the 2021/2022 cycle at the Kenya institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

The CS said he is impressed that candidates who qualify for university admission are increasingly embracing TVET courses, saying that in the 2020 KCSE a total of 6,617 students who attained C+ and above chose TVET programmes up from 2,632 in 2019.

“This is encouraging because the government has built and equipped TVET institutions in every county to ensure our youths access quality technical training,” said Prof. Magoha and added that the move will enable the country achieve 100 per cent transition to tertiary education.

All the 70 public and private universities declared at least 167, 046 vacancies to be taken by candidates who qualified for degree courses while the TVET institutions presented 308,339 slots for student placement.

A total of 594,987 candidates of the 2020 examination were eligible for placement into diploma, certificate, craft and artisan courses. The 137,072 who applied for the available slots which is 44 per cent were all placed.

The CS said this year’s placement to TVET institutions represented a 54.5 per cent increase from 2019, whose placement was 88,724, saying that with the low enrolment KUCCPs should continue to mobilize and recruit students for the coming intakes in January and May, 2022.

He at the same time announced that the Placement Service applied the affirmative action criteria for gender, disability and applicants from marginalized regions with an aim of giving youths from the special categories a chance to enroll in programmes that they would not have pursued due to competition.

Through Affirmative Action a total of 2,225 applicants have benefited this year.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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