Education CS Magoha is not a man likely to hide his thoughts, especially when stating a generally accepted truth.
This time, he has revealed a well known secret that those who study Civil Engineering know very well. Studying Civil Engineering will give you a good title and social status, but you might easily starve to death.
“In this country, Civil Engineers are never needed. When people want to build houses they just ask a fundi to build a house like the one their neighbor built. If approvals are needed, a Civil Engineer will be paid KShs 1500 to stamp the document and that is far as he goes. Can KShs 1500 feed a man?”
Magoha noted that those who did the course are now condemned to eternal poverty, where they are too poor to make ends meet and too proud to beg. “The only option is to lie low like an envelope until the world changes, which is highly unlikely. The other time they make it to the news is when a building collapses, and we blame them, yet we know they were never involved from the beginning. Its either death or death for Civil Engineers.”
“After 5 years of hard work in school, you will spend your entire life doing a job that the Chinese can easily mechanize. If you get to work with them, your supervisor will just be an English language graduate from China working as the site Engineer. You will be frustrated to death. Even local construction companies are owned by accountants and politicians, and when they employ engineers, they pay them just enough to keep them alive.”
“We should not be training too many Civil Engineers when the Chinese can do the job at half the cost and twice the speed. Let us be realistic. You look at the Nairobi Expressway and realize that had we given the job to Kirinyaga Construction Company, they would still be working on it when Jesus comes back. And in case they finish building it, the risk of collapse would be too high. It would take faith for one to drive on the elevated road, and even more faith to drive on the road under it.
He called on those who have already studied Civil Engineering to consider doing a Masters Degree, then a PhD so that they can become lecturers and teach other unsuspecting people the same course. That way, it will be a pyramid scheme which can keep running as long as more people are getting recruited. “This is the only path to sustainability.”
At least, they starve with dignity.