Kenya: Parents Should Stop Forcing Their Children to Study Certain Courses

20 September 2021

Tales of how my friends found themselves pursuing certain courses are quite varied. Most say parents, guardians, career counsellors, and teachers chose it for them.

It is okay to help young people make sound career choices but some parents dictate their children's career choices.

While many of us set out to explore the world with the hope of finding our passion, some parents have already decided what they want us to become.

The courses that most parents force on their children are medicine, nursing, and engineering.

Such parents believe that these course bring prestige and command respect in the society than arts -- filming, music, dance and other performing arts.

Some students say courses were forced on them in line with the family history. A friend of mine, for instance, wanted to study journalism because she felt passionate about it.

Her parents did not allow it, with her father, a medic, saying as his first-born, she was required to follow in his footsteps.

Sadly, she studied medicine but dropped out in second year because she could not keep up. It is unfair for parents to force careers on their children. They forget why their children choose careers in the first place. For example, if one has phobia for blood, it is cruel that parents will still force medicine on such a child for the sake of prestige. Or one being forced to become a teacher yet he suffers from stage fright.

Parents should stop forcing careers on their children. Help them make informed choices but do not force your wishes on them. The courses and career they pursue affect their lives forever and it is only fair to let them choose their fate.

It is easier to keep up with the workload pursuing a career that one is passionate about. The country needs all kinds of professionals -- journalists, masons, dancers, producers, farmers, cleaners, cooks, pilots among others. All jobs are marketable if energy and hard work is invested. Please allow us to take charge of our careers.

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