Young people from Garissa County are not willing to undertake technical courses, Governor Nathif Jama has revealed.
This is despite the county suffering from a dire need of professionals with technical skills.
Speaking in Masalani Town, Ijara Sub-county, the governor said his administration is worried with the local people’s unwillingness to pursue some courses, which they associate it with untidiness and sometimes view them as a curse.
“My government has launched a free scholarship programme to support students pursuing technical and medical courses so as to make our county have sufficient personnel in the said fields, but nobody is coming forward for the scholarships two months down the line,” he lamented
Governor Jama said many parents were discouraging their children from pursuing some courses in the technical, teaching and nursing fields leading to the county suffering an acute shortage of staff in the same fields.
LACK OF TEACHERS
“Our schools are performing dismally because of shortage of teaching staff.
Our hospitals are also closing down due to lack of medical staff.
We are forced to outsource simple technical skills such as electricity installations in our county offices from outside the county yet parents here are discouraging their children from pursuing these courses,” he added.
The governor said the problem of shortage of teachers and nurses in the county has become persistent since majority of those recruited whenever positions arise were people from other counties looking jobs, but seek transfers immediate they secure the jobs.
“Our region has been turned into a job recruiting bureau for people from other regions.
But since our people have refused to encourage their children to pursue some courses, we have no option but to employ other Kenyans with the required qualifications and who show the interest of working with us albeit for a short time,” he noted.
He noted that some cultural beliefs were hindering the uptake of technical courses.
In the Somali community, for example, doing technical jobs can earn one a bad reputation that can lead to open discrimination.
“Tumal” (blacksmiths) are traditionally not allowed to intermarry with other Somali communities.
Recently an education forum organised by the National Assembly majority leader Adan Duale in Garissa Town heard that a call for applications to both secondary and primary teaching colleges were receiving no response despite a scholarship promise for those interested in the courses.
The governor said most parents are forcing their children to pursue careers in the humanities and arts such as human resource management, public and business administration among others, with the aim of securing a white collar jobs.
“I want to urge the youth to take technical and other relevant courses with wider employment opportunities in the county and globally instead of going for white collar courses with no or limited market value,” he advised.