The CS education has written a letter to TVET institutions on the way forward for STEM and Business courses. This letter has elicited varied reactions on whether business courses should be done away with in TVET institutions. This reminded me of a previous debate on some courses and degree programs in our universities that were said to be irrelevant and if they should be scrapped. It has also reminded me of how at times some courses are looked down upon because they are deemed less prestigious.
Allow me to wade into this debate and ask a few questions to the proponents of this idea. How many students constitute those that do the STEM courses in TVET institutions? Are the TVET institutions likely to survive and be financially sustainable with STEM courses only? Will you force people to do courses they have no passion for? What is vocational training? What is a skill?What is technical? How many people will for example an engineering diploma student employ compared to one that opens an eatery because they have done hotel and catering? Who will effectively and efficiently manage businesses in Kenya? These and many other questions linger in my mind.
I am of the opinion all courses and programs are important for the economy. Each and every graduate has their place for any economy to grow. Whereas it is important to specialize, such specialization cannot work without support from other disciplines. It is time to look at the bigger picture and create space for all to thrive in their areas. It is time to engage in strategic focus for different sectors and this should inform decisions on what should or should not be done.
What is your take?
Leave your comment and let the debate continue.
Dr Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance and Leadership Consultant.