I contend that that author of this post, though a university graduate himself did not understand the reason for the existence of the university. In an earlier post that I wrote, I mentioned what other scholars had identified as the raison d’etre for the existence of the university is scientific interest- pursuit for truth. This I think still remains the main goal for the existence of research institutions of higher learning.
Bertrand Russell in his reflections on education, writes in part
Instead of obedience and discipline, we ought to aim at preserving independence and impulse. Instead of ruthlessness, education should try to develop justice in thought. Instead of contempt, it ought to instill reverence, and the attempt at understanding; towards the opinions of others it ought to produce, not necessarily acquiescence, but only such opposition as is combined with imaginative apprehension and a clear realization of the grounds for opposition. Instead of credulity, the object should be to stimulate constructive doubt, the love of mental adventure, the sense of worlds to conquer by enterprise and boldness in thought. Contentment with the status quo, and subordination of the individual pupil to political aims, owing to the indifference to the things of the mind, are the immediate causes of these evils; but beneath these causes there is one more fundamental, the fact that education is treated as a means of acquiring power over the pupil, not as a means of nourishing his own growth.
nowhere does he say or Ogot say the goal of university education or education for that matter is to get you a good job. This happens only as a matter of course. Many people around us have gotten wealthy with no university education and many others have remained almost destitute with university education. We can’t therefore measure the utility of university of education by how many people are employed. This happens, in my view, to be thought advanced by Edwin Hinda in the post I linked above.
He writes for example
Perhaps it is time to review our priorities. If, as a country, we just focus on the capability and productivity of our youth, we shall develop rapidly as opposed to investing in the theoretical university education, only for students to end up unemployed. Agriculture, the backbone of our economy, and the practical courses, are the only way out of this quagmire. University education is losing value and change is inevitable.
which I find quite problematic. For the youth to be productive, we need people who can think independently. Who can innovate. Who can acquire, analyse and apply knowledge to solve societies’ current problems. But if we think only of the stomach today, then we are better of returning to the pre-industrial era. We are living in the information age and it is time we behaved like it. The only people who will prosper will be those who can manipulate knowledge or information to their advantage in addressing any of the crises facing humanity.
The fact that our economy is not performing optimally in a way that adequate funding is not available for university education is not a reason to declare a loss of value for university. That a university student depends on their parents for education is not unique to Kenya only, but happens everywhere in the world, where university education is not free.
It is my humble submission that Edwin ought to refund his parents the money spent for his university education, apologise to his tutors and the community of students for not having benefited from his sojourn at the university.