Thousands of students sat for the KCSE exam in Kenya in March/April 2021, just as it happens every year. For many of these, this is a near life and death matter.
One of the main weaknesses in Kenya’s education system is that a single examination is used to gauge all the learning outcomes after years of schooling. It determines the course that one studies, the institution that one joins, and consequently, the career path that one is likely to take. It also punishes people who may have some practical skills that are not tested in the exam, or those who for one reason or another are not in optimal shape during the exam period.
For those proceed to join a college or University, many are limited to the course that they are admitted to study, as opposed to what they would want to study. This is especially so for people who depend on government sponsorship to study. Those with means can easily pay for their course of choice.
With this background, parents try to make the most out of a difficult situation. One of the options is to equip form four leavers with some skills so that the road ahead will be smooth.
The Era of Computer Packages and Driving License
One standard rite of passage that many students engage in after form four is studying computer packages and getting a driving license. This has its roots in the early days when ability to operate a computer would mean an instant job, or a driving license would give one a job as a driver.
Today, this has changed. A driving license and a computer packages certificate will not get you any job. They are basic skills to use in life. An increasingly digital world does not require one to have a certificate to prove that one is well versed with Microsoft Word. Driving skill is no longer a career for most people, but to enable them drive their own vehicles.
In a changing world, students and parents need to look for opportunities that will skill young Kenyans to thrive in a digital world.
Practical Skills Before College
One of the advantages that the digital revolution has provided is one can leverage the access to information to upskill themselves. Want to learn how to bake? Some of the finest bakers are on YouTube. Want to learn digital marketing? You can easily teach yourself if you have the desire. It only requires time and commitment.
The only challenge could be that it is hard for one to know where to start without some guidance. Getting information from the internet has been compared to drinking water from a fire hydrant – too much water under too much pressure will do you harm. It is therefore good for one to find some guidance from people in the specific field that they want to gain skills in. If you want to learn some baking, you could start by talking to someone who is already doing it.
Web Development Course
One of such opportunities is the upcoming web development course that seeks to help form four leavers launch a career in web design. It also gives them a life skill which they might use in life, where it is expected that people in different professional need to create web content or professional blogs to share their knowledge online.
This course is a good starting point for many young people today. Within a period of one week, one learns how to create a website, how to create compelling content for the website, and the basics of web hosting and professional emails. One also gets to interact with professional web developers who can help shape one’s career.
What is the value of this course? One ‘commercial application’ is that one can use the skills to set up websites or blogs for other people at a fee. We all have that cousin or uncle who needs tech help, and this could be a skill you can use to offer them a service. It is an empowerment to start web design as a side hustle, or even move it a step further to be the main hustle.
Register for the Web development course for form four leavers here.