, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – There is a notable increase in the number of talents especially among the youth in the country.
This is a good indication as it will help address the issue of unemployment which has remained a constant plague in the society.
But question is do we have in place mechanisms or institutions that support these talents?
In an exclusive interview with Capital FM News, Educationist Sarah Ruto said it’s time we stopped viewing talents and innovation as extracurricular activities and make them co- curricular activities.
“With the over reliance on the end-year tests, we are failing to address the need to nurture talents and innovation as a main subject,” said Ruto.
Many learning institutions are yet to make the big step towards adopting a curriculum that advocates for talent and innovation.
One way of finding out the impact of nurturing these talents, is by visiting schools who have adopted it in their curriculum.
“A head teacher in Kibera decided to use sports to attract children to school. Not only are they performing well in school they are also getting scholarships to go to other places to showcase their talent,” cited Ruto.
“Another good example is the Dagoretti School which is famous for producing musicians, poets. A few schools have implemented arts and crafts as their co-curriculum it’s just a matter of time before the rest follow suit,” noted Ruto.
A formal recognition and investment is needed into this kind of schools that have a culture. This can be used as centres of excellence for other schools to emulate.
She adds that our current mode of teaching doesn’t encourage our students to be more involved in technical activities.
“To address the unemployment in the country, students need to be exposed to the industrial sector e.g. the Juakali, Information Technology etc to broaden their thinking and capabilities,” said Ruto.
“Let’s also have competence based exams that encourage innovation in the secondary level,” added Ruto.
Currently, Kenya’s unemployment rate stands at 40 percent, up from only 12 percent in 2006.
Ruto states that parents have a role to play in encouraging and supporting their children’s talent, to address the influx of unemployed youth, a crisis that Kenya is currently facing.
“Young people account for more than 35 percent of the national population, yet they account for a whopping 67 percent of the country’s unemployed workforce,” explained Ruto.
“If we don’t invest in our children, if we don’t give them hope, if we don’t give them channels to pursue a decent living, then we as a country have failed the generation of tomorrow,” said Ruto.