The desire for better a better living and a good life has pushed thousands of youths to tertiary institutions to get that certificate that is at the core of employment requirements. Little do these youths know that formal employment opportunities in this country are so scarce to satisfy the tumultuous demands. Each year universities and other higher education learning institutions churn out thousands of graduates with qualifications in Degrees, diplomas and certificate in a wide array of disciplines.
The craving for formal employment and reality of scarce job opportunities has heavily impacted on most youths. The realization that graduation does not guarantee a job has left most youths frustrated to the core. This has led to some of the graduates indulging in drug and substance abuse, if only to vent out their frustrations. At worst some have contemplated commuting suicide. Worse still some run away from home and hide in big cities; living in shanties so as to evade ridicule from locals at rural homes. This does not help either as it piles more pressure and frustrations on such youths.
The Education Cabinet Secretariat Prof George Magoha recently opened a Pandoras box on the state of unemployment in the country. He decried the high levels of unemployment among youths. Prof Magoha advised youths not to scramble for the otherwise useless degree courses and embrace training in craftsmanship.
The story of one Kelvin Ochieng’ who scored straight As at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE, exams and went on to get a first class honors degree in Bachelor of Science(Actuarial Science) and failed to secure employment is not only devastating but also a tip on the ice berg. Kelvin is not alone. There are many other youths out there whose efforts to secure formal employment have bore no fruits and continue to languish in poverty.
Apart from unemployment, other problems facing Kenya youths are: High cost of living, Drugs, Crime and Betting/ Gambling.
Through the hash tag ‘FirstClassBetrayal’, youths have turned to Social media to express their frustrations. The unemployed graduates have even posted their academic credentials requesting well wishers to grant them jobs. Here are some of the posts: