Kenya urgently needs education reforms, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking during an interview with the Voice of America, Governor Kimemia said the current generation of learners wants to see a linkage between education and industry.
“Within Nyandarua, I am keen on transition rates and the skilling of youth for jobs, because a mismatch may lead to insecurity,” he said.
The Governor noted that failure to involve young people in democratic governance may be a cause of the on-going unrest in the country’s education sector.
“While conversations need to continue on criminal accountability, we need to listen to our young people when they demand for space in policy formulation,” he said.
Noting that the breakdown of families is a major concern, Governor Kimemia called for enhanced mentoring and counselling for both tutors and learners.
With national exams nearing later this year, the Governor also said learners may be responding to a system that does not allow them either a second chance or to carry over accumulated academic credit.
“We need to mentor teachers in engaging the current generation, which is tech savvy. In Nyandarua alone, 65 per cent of the population is below 22 years-old. Community actors, the National and County governments must work together to achieve this,” he said.
Further, the County boss warned that learners may be falling into bad company during school holidays.
“We can’t ignore them. These are our children. It isn’t simply about votes. We must get them growing in business while securing the markets they will need for their goods and services,” he said.
The Governor said creating sovereign bonds and other economic resources will support the emergence of a compassionate society.
“I have a youthful minister who understands the affairs of our young people. We are also focused on early child development and empowering teachers at that level,” he said.
Drawing on his experience in retired President Mwai Kibaki’s government, Governor Kimemia also said he is committed to the establishment of the University of Nyandarua, making County polytechnics functional, establishing youth centers and a thriving cottage industry.
“Under Mzee Kibaki, we thrived when we dedicated funds and programmes for the youth. Innovation and talent centers began to emerge afterwards,” he recalled.
The Governor said the County Government is working closely with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to mobilize resources for the university.
The Governor was interviewed by Ms. Abigail Rubel, a reporter with Voice of America’s Student Union, an online community and news site for international students who study or want to study in the United States.
She was joined on set by the network’s celebrated Kenyan-born anchor, BMJ Mureithi.
Voice of America is the United States’ largest international broadcaster, reaching 236.8 million people weekly in more than 40 languages.