Education, training, and employment of secondary school leavers in Kenya
Kinyanjui, P. Kabiru
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This paper examines the relationship between the post-independence expansion of secondary school education and the labour market. 3179 Form IV leavers for the years 1965-68 were traced for their occupations in the first and third years after leaving school. The occupations are correlated with the leavers' aggregate scores in the E.A, Certificate of Education. The results show that in the first year after taking E.A.C.E., about 25% continue with further education (mainly H.S.C.), a further 20% undergo full time training, about 25% are employed in the public sector and 14% in the private sector. In the third year after E.A.C.E., 18% are in further education (mainly University), 13% in full time training, while the public sector employs about 38% and the private sector, 16%. A possible trend which is emerging is shown by the sudden increase in unemployed school leavers, which rose from about 1% for the 1965/7 cohorts to 14.8% for the 1968 cohort. The correlation with E.A.C.E. results shows that the ablest students are going on with further education of some sort, and that the labour market is selective in terms of performance in E.A.C.E. - those with the poorest aggregate scores are remaining unemployed longest. The implications raised by this study concern, the relevance and quality of the present secondary school education to the needs of the labour market and to the students. The expansion of Harambee Secondary Schools with their high proportion of unqualified teachers has led in some cases to poor performance in E.A.C.E. and the unemployment problem initially affects the weakest students. Since the major category of employment that school leavers enter is shown to be clerical/secretarial, the conclusion is reached that the present type of education is still preparing students for white-collar jobs, which will inhibit them from adjusting to a situation of unemployment and acute job competition.