Industrial attachment is one of the requirements that students pursuing higher education must fulfill before graduating.
Traditionally, institutions of higher learning often partner with companies to allow students attend their attachment at these companies.
Most of the diploma and degree programs have mandatory 3-months industrial attachment periods for their students.
During the attachment period, students are expected to acquire practical knowledge within their area of specialization.
Lecturers and tutors take their time to visit these students during attachment in order to evaluate them.
Additionally, the students are evaluate on a continuous basis by their supervisors at the place of attachment.
However, a recent conversation among students in Kenyan universities reveal that students want to be paid during their time on attachment.
Among the reasons cited by those calling for payment include the need to cover expenses while on attachment.
Others argue that due to the harsh economic times, students on industrial attachment should be paid to survive.
However, those against the payment of attaches argue that the companies and organizations that accept these attaches are doing them a favor as they do not necessarily need them.
“The employer will still be fine without attaches anyway but he has agreed to train you for the job market. Actually attaches should pay,” a student at Egerton University noted.
“They (organizations that offer attachment opportunities) do you a favor of accepting you to learn and train with them in there institution and you dream of them paying you???” another student queried.
Industrial Attachment at KTDA
The debate was ignited by a leaked industrial attachment acceptance letter by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Ltd.
In the letter addressed to a student who was seeking industrial attachment at the company’s legal services department, the company indicated that they would give the student a stipend of Ksh.3,000.
This comes even as other professions require their graduates to go for one year unpaid internship before being employed by the government.
Many students believe that industrial attachment is part of their training and therefore they do not need to be paid.
However, the students feel that since internship comes after one has graduated from the university, they should be given a stipend.