Gov’t vows to reform education system to suit market needs

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kibabii University
President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kibabii University

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the government plans to reform the country’s education system to make it relevant to market needs.

President Kenyatta noted that in the past education has failed to hold the interest of the young people because little had been done to make it relevant to their lives.

“I need not tell you what opportunities have been lost. So we resolved to transform our education system so that it could hold our children’s interest,” he added.

The president said a number of changes will be made to the education policy and curriculum to ensure children enjoy learning.

President Kenyatta spoke when he granted a Charter to Kibabii University in Bungoma County. Before the upgrading, Kibabii was a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

He reminded institutions of higher learning of the need to equip graduates with skills that enable them to have a competitive edge in the way they apply the knowledge and skills.

The president told universities to strive to produce graduates with skills that bring creativity and innovation in all fields and create jobs for others.

“The days when a university degree was an automatic ticket to secure a job, are behind us,” President Kenyatta said.

On financing of university education, the president said the government will continue to increase funding to the sector including enhancing funding to the Higher Education Loans Board to support needy students.

“We shall avail HELB loans to every Kenyan student in university in the country and within the East African Community, as well as those in middle level and tertiary institutions,” he said.

The president urged universities to supplement government efforts by raising funds for bursaries, scholarships and other schemes that enhance access and equity in higher education.

He affirmed that the technical, industrial, vocational and business training sectors in the country were also being revamped for a vibrant tertiary and university education system.

President Kenyatta said the government is establishing new national polytechnics and developing new model technical training institutions in all parts of the country.

He encouraged Kibabii University to put special emphasis on bio-technology, renewable energy and biofuels, bio-resource management and conservation courses.

“With the award of the charter, Kibabii University now enters the university scene as a fully-fledged member of the local and international university community,” the president said.

He challenged the university and other institutions of higher learning to support the building of the new Kenya envisaged by the Constitution, through the development of selfless, honest, transformative and visionary leaders.

“Kibabii University is being born at a time when universities must prepare men and women who are appropriately and adequately equipped to cope with the rapidly globalising and knowledge-based society,” said the president.

The head of state, who was installed as the first chancellor of the University, donated Sh2 million in support of needy students at the institution of higher learning.

He also sent a message of condolence to the French Government following ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night that claimed over 120 people.

President Kenyatta told Kenyans to be vigilant and volunteer information to security forces on terrorists and other criminals hiding in their midst.

Deputy President William Ruto urged Kenyans to shun divisive politics and work together in development.

“Campaigns ended with the 2013 General Election and Kenyans should now unite in development,” the DP said.

Others who spoke were Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, Senator Moses Wetangula and local MP Wafula Wamunyinyi.

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