UuIn the old days, not so old, university education was an important thing. One was a village celebrity and be mentioned everywhere as an example if they attained some university education. Graduations were celebrated massively. It mattered less what one was studying. The breaking good news was that the son or daughter of so and so made it to university, graduated and had a job.
I remember when the cutoff point to joining university was 67. During those days, students worked hard to achieve this. Joining university took two years after form four exams.
The universities we knew were University of Nairobi, Maseno, Masinde Muliro, KU, JKUAT, Egerton and Moi. There were also technical colleges. Today there are more than enough institutions called universities.
When one went to the University of Nairobi, they bragged. Their university was said to have a global prestige and international recognition. They cited people who have served this country.
A university graduate is assumed to have chances of landing himself or herself a job easily. That is not the case. Graduates in Kenya are not taught what they need to use after their school. I am looking at a case of an electrical engineer. Some of the institutions that are assumed to train better in electrical engineering are Jomo Kenyatta University and University of Nairobi.
An electrical engineer mostly will design and supervise the installations of various electrical appliances. Those are bachelor graduates. For the diploma holders, they take the responsibility of doing repairs and major installations. Most of the practical jobs are theirs. They climb electrical poles, some getting electrocuted.
Teachers in our universities are taught majorly the theoretical bit. They practice only during one short holiday. In this era, the lawyers should argue their cases in Swahili, which is still a dream. A meteorologist gradates without the ability to predict weather properly. That is why the department of weather at Dagoretti corner may not be a reliable lace to get information about the atmosphere. However for a drought, you can be sure they are right. Look at a geologists and physicists. They never make any substantive research.
Since 2008, there has been an increase in the number of colleges and universities. Some are not fully chattered. They offer courses like the oldest universities do. The system was ballooned without adding into the number of professional lecturers and staff to man these institutions. That is a major problem. By end of day, there is scrambling for the few lectures. These are hungry people who will not decline some little money to appear in those lecture halls.
When students graduate, you know the reason why they are called half-baked graduates. May be I will give credit to UoN’s law and medical school students.