So there has been a lot of hullaballoo about some politicians and fake degrees from universities. The number of people who buy degrees in Kenya is quite high and simply shocking to me. But that aside, let’s not question why educational institutes sell degrees but question the kind of graduates they produce.

You just finished high school, your results are out and you got good grades. You join campus and it’s all about fun and games. Everyone can attest to the fact that very few people can hack first year without the whole drinking and partying thing. You spent four years wanting to be free from your parents; you’ve watched all these TV shows that have led you to believe studying in campus is optional.

You chose a course that’s hands on, needs loss of practical work and application. You hardly attend class, the lecturer only sees you on exam day. Exam time mwakenyas are the norm. Why read when you can get the answers word for word the way the lecturer wants? Four years of this, and it’s time to graduate. You got a second upper degree, congratulations!

Then comes the job hunt. Employers are impressed with your qualifications. You get the job and that’s when reality sets in. They give you a small task and you have to call in a friend, you know the one who attended all classes but is yet to graduate because the workload was too much, they dropped units. He helps you out for old times’ sake. Again they give you a task and it is like they just asked you to speak Greek yet you only know your mother tongue. And then it hits you, if you had paid attention in class you would know what it is they want. But you never once internalized what was in the mwakenyas you wrote.

You are a half-baked cookie. You went through the oven that was the 8-4-4 system but you came out raw inside. `Most graduates fall in this category. Not all are as a result of using mwakenyas and not internalizing, others are simply because they did a 4 year theoretical class for something that needed practical work. They were drawn for a diagram and told this is what a camera is and this is how you operate it. They were shown images of dissected rats and told when you cut it open it looks like this. No one actually made them do it to see if they understood what it all entails.

So who is to blame for the half-baked cookies that employers are faced with? Is it the universities or the students? I’ll leave that for you to decide