Education stakeholders in Nakuru County have called on the youths to change their attitudes towards technical and vocational training even as the institutions revamp their training equipment and manuals.
County Director for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Peter Cheruiyot has said that Nakuru lagged behind its neighbours in Bomet and Kericho in terms of enrollment in TVETS as a result of negative attitudes towards technical education.
He called on parents and youths in general to seek hands-on training and experience that would ease their employability arguing that the cost of the courses had been greatly subsidized by the government.
“It is only the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology that has a high number of enrollment at over 8, 000. It is commendable that the institutions like the Total TTI has received a boost after the area MP sponsored 200 more learners to add to the 86 already enrolled,” added Cheruiyot.
The educationist noted a diversion towards short term courses that equipped learners with hands-on skills in value addition, that were meant to in turn boost the agricultural sector was a welcome innovation.
“The current CBET (Competency Based Education Training) curriculum has opened a window of opportunities to equip learners with skills in making yoghurt, cheese, packaging fermented pasteurized milk and making sausages as a way to empowering them to start cottage industries at grassroots levels,” he remarked.
He regretted the delayed modernization of training equipment in most of the established institutions, noting that more modern equipment was being sought to keep up to speed with the changing technology especially in the automotive engineering field.
The County Service Delivery meeting chaired by Nakuru County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo also heard that the institutions benefitted from capitation from government as well as the Higher Education Loans Board loans that adequately catered for the technical education.
“It is upon the institution’s management to devise ways of improving their revenue streams instead of over-relying on the exchequer for funding,” remarked Kitiyo.
Principals should also devise ways of linking up with local leaders to benefit from affirmative action funds and the National Government Constituency Development Funds (NG- CDF),” added Kitiyo.
The Kenya Industrial Training Institute Deputy Director Alice Biketi, who was also at the meeting called on the youths to enroll for courses in solar energy as well as food technology courses that had been introduced at the institution.
The TVET institutions across the county have also embarked on a Recognition of Prior Learning programme, in which jua kali workers will be assessed and certified for competitive advantage.
By Anne Sabuni