Kenyan Youths Lack Essential Life Skills – Report
According to Wednesday’s research findings, only 10% of youths in Kenya have a high level of proficiency in crucial life skills and values of the twenty-first century.
Problem-solving, collaboration, self-awareness, and respect are among the skills, along with literacy and digital literacy.
According to a study conducted by the Regional Education Learning Initiative (Reli), which covered 20 of the 47 countries in the world, the majority of adolescents are unable to generate multiple solutions to simple problems that affect their lives.
“When presented with a problem, the majority were rushing to the solution and not the process of arriving at a solution.
“They’re not seeking the source of the problem in order to arrive at the best solution. Teachers have socialised the learners to think like that,” said Dr John Mugo, the CEO of Zizi Afrique and the principal investigator for the Assessment of Life Skills and Values in East Africa.
He spoke at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi during the report’s launch.
In addition, the report found that approximately 15% of adolescents (17% of males and 13% of females) were unable to read a Grade 4 English text despite the introduction of free primary education nearly two decades ago.
The tested skills are a component of the seven core competencies covered by the competency-based curriculum (CBC). Higher reading levels correlate with greater problem-solving, self-awareness, respect, and collaboration skills among adolescents.
The research questions were translated into 16 local languages and were administered to 17,276 adolescents aged 13 to 17 from 14,197 households.
“This is a call to action for all of us. How do we move from having a tool and evidence to ensuring that all our children in Kenya have the needed life skills and values to navigate the 21st-century world?” the report asks.
In problem-solving, for instance, 25% of respondents were at Level 1, where they could not connect with the hypothetical problem presented (a house fire), while the majority (55%) were at Level 2.
They were able to identify a problem, but only from one perspective, and they proposed only one solution.
15% were able to recognize a problem from one perspective, identify the primary approach to solving the problem, and justify it.
Only 5% were at the highest level, recognizing the problem from multiple perspectives and understanding that there may be multiple solutions.
According to the report, adolescents with proficient digital literacy demonstrated greater problem-solving skills than their peers who struggled with using digital devices.
The counties Murang’a, Tana River, Samburu, Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit, Kisumu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, and Nairobi were examined for this study.
The others were Kakamega, Tharaka Nithi, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Nyamira, Narok, Makueni, Nyeri, Bungoma, and Mandera.