Education for rural development in Kenya: a critical note
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This paper emphasises the subordinate role that education plays in the process of employment creation and national development. Evidence to support this view is drawn from an analysis of the aims, structure and content of the education system both in colonial and independent Kenya. For example, the appearance of the unemployed school leavers in the labour market was seen as an outcome of an education system that inculcates into the minds of pupils values and attitudes which would not make them accept agricultural and other manual pursuits in the rural environment. However, there is overwhelming historical evidence to show that the educational planners have vigorously promoted an educational curriculum that is supposed to cater for the rural needs. The educational changes and programmes such as agriculture and technical education advocated in post-colonial Kenya as measures to deal with educated unemployed are not at all new, as similar programmes were initiated during the colonial period without much success. The failure of these efforts suggests that the problems of the educated unemployed and national development are rooted in the structure of the political - economy of the society and not in the education system. A list of both educational and rural programmes which should receive priority is proposed in a context that demands progressive diversion of national resources from formal education to productive economic investments.