Reliable and credible news ought to be anchored on solid facts. And the press simply should not convey information. Value addition through interpretative or analytical processing is the now the accepted standard. But if this is not carefully done, the audience may end up being served with frogs, half baked facts, marinated fallacies and steamed fake news.
Whereas the screaming headline above grabs deep attention by suggesting hundreds of thousands of young people are not interested in getting their college education funded by the Kenyan government, it could be quite shallow in substance.
The state, would most likely finance the studies of students enrolling in either degree, diploma or certificate courses.
Out of the over 600,000 who sat for the 2017 secondary school leaving exam:
- slightly over 69,000 attained grade C+ and above, the minimum university entry requirement
- about 100,000 got between grade C and C- , and these qualify for diploma and certificate courses.
- while over 350, 000 candidates scored between D and E, that makes them eligible for mostly craftsmanship and artisan courses.
This would be a good place to start looking for the 'rumoured' 500,000 who supposedly 'snubbed free college education'.
And while at it, bear in mind that the entire annual capacity for state-sponsored degree, diploma and certificate courses can only accommodate about 210,000 students.
Incidentally, not everybody who applied for financing from the Higher Education Loans Board in the past has been getting it, or the entire amount required, so it will take a lot of convincing to believe that the government is in a position to fund post-secondary education for all the 2017 candidates.
The state, most likely, would realistically be more worried by the nearly 6,000 qualified candidates who failed to secure university placement this year, due to inadequate cluster subject scores for their chosen courses, or the fact that they did not apply at all.
The fixation by a section of the local media with the figure of 500,000, is apparently then not as warranted, as the picture being painted.
Now what is left is the small matter of frogs.
Anyone out there who can croak a believable explanation?