The National Youth Service (NYS) recruitment officers were on Wednesday forced to conduct a street campaign in Hola town to recruit local youth to the service.
Unlike in recruitments conducted by the National Police Service (NPS) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) where hundreds thronged the Hola Stadium to try their luck, the stadium remained empty when the NYS officers arrived.
After waiting for some time, the officers decided to walk into the streets to reach out to the youth, who were going about their businesses as if nothing was happening.
In the end, they managed to convince 18 young men, mostly motorcycle (boda boda) operators, to join the service out of the 30 slots the County had been allocated.
An even worse scenario was witnessed in Bura Town of Tana North Sub County where the officers spent two days but managed to recruit only one youth out of the thirty they had anticipated to recruit.
This is in total contrast with the recent Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruitment, where hundreds turned up for the exercise but only three young men were taken.
The officer in charge of the NYS recruitment exercise, Joseph Mutua decried the poor turnout and called for concerted efforts to educate the youth on the importance of joining the service.
It is apparent that the youth do not see the importance of joining the NYS, hence the need for leaders to enlighten them on the benefits of joining the service, he told journalists in Hola town.
He said NYS had lowered the cut-off grade for those wishing to join the service to D- (minus) with the hope that many youngsters would turn up and join the service.
Some of the youth interviewed by the Kenya News Agency said they were not able to participate in the recruitment exercise as their results had been withheld by their respective schools for failing to complete their fees.
I sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2013 but my certificate is still being held because I did not clear the S8, 000 fees balance, said Joseph Mrenje, who said failure to get his certificate had denied him many employment opportunities.
Some however said they were not interested in the service as they needed employment to take care of their families instead of going to offer free service to the government.
Mutua however said that NYS graduates were better placed to secure employment than their peers since the government sponsors them to pursue various courses at the NYS training school.
The exercise was set to continue in Tana Delta, where another thirty young people were expected to be recruited to the service, Mutua said.
He said his team would then go back to Bura to encourage the youth to join the service, because this is more important than charcoal burning and boda boda.
During the last NYS passing out parade, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the KDF, NPS and other disciplined forces to absorb NYS graduates.
Source: Kenya News Agency