Students were urged to work hard and get the government sponsorship opportunities to study in public universities.
By Ivy Maloy
Coast education stakeholders, led by Technical University of Mombasa Vice-Chancellor Laila Abubakar, have decried low education levels in the region. Prof Abubakar, the first woman vice-chancellor from the region, urged Coast parents to set good examples for their children so they can excel in their education.
She urged students from the region to work hard and get government sponsorship opportunities to study at public universities. “There are massive opportunities from the government, including blue economy programmes. Most of our students come from humble backgrounds and they do not know about the available opportunities,” she said.
“Parents and students should take advantage of these opportunities and join universities through government sponsorships.” She mentioned the “sponsor syndrome’ as a major challenge affecting girls throughout the country, advising parents to mold their children to become better people.
“The sponsor issue is a major challenge. Sometimes these things start at home. The father figure is crucial when it comes to parenting. Most of the time everything is left to the mother and fathers are absent,” she said.
“But we should ensure our children have integrity, self-esteem and are God-fearing. Things are not given on a silver platter.” She advised students to change their attitudes.
“We must encourage our girls to work hard and motivate them to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects,” she said. Enrollment of female students is low, especially when it comes to science courses, which is worse.”
She advised Coast leaders to collaborate and improve enrollment of female students in universities. She attributed the low numbers of female students to wrong priorities by the communities in the region. “You find that once you finish Form Four you don’t have a role model to tell you that you can go to the university. The next thing is for you to enter into an early marriage,” she lamented.
“In other regions, the community cannot allow a Form Four leaver to get married. As a community, we need to go out there and show that even females can join science courses or universities.” She urged education stakeholders and leaders to mentor Form Four leavers.