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County lobbying for more investment in TVETs

Kirinyaga County Government has called for increment of funding to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students studying in local polytechnics to match that of their counterparts in National TVETs.

In a memorandum presented to the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms at Kerugoya Boys High School, the County Government indicated that while students training at the national TVETs get Sh. 30,000 as capitation to aid their studies, those in county TVETs get only Sh15,000, which discourages many young people from enrolling in the polytechnics run by the county governments.

The memorandum that was presented by the County Executive Committee Member for Education, James Kinyua, also recommended that the TVETs be allowed to manage the capitation over a duration of time so as to create sustainable production units that can generate income for the institutions.

At the same time, the national government was requested to consider paying for examination and assessment fees for Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) candidates so as to increase the completion rate.

“Many trainees undertake the various courses offered in our TVETs, but prohibitive exam fees discourage them from sitting for the exams, thus walking out of the institutions without certification,” Kinyua said.

The county government also recommended that Universities be restricted to implement graduate and post-graduate programs, while Technical Training institutes are left to handle diploma and craft certificate programs.

“There is need for formulation of a clear policy on the time-frame for reviewing the curriculum for technical education so as to match with the changes in technology,” said Kinyua.

To enable TVETs handle students with disabilities, the CEC noted that there was need to build the capacity of polytechnic instructors to help them handle such students.

The county government also called for formulation of a scheme of service for TVETs workers in line with Salaries and Remuneration Commission (CRC) guidelines, as well as a clear policy on promotion and remuneration of instructors with responsibilities such as managers, deputies and heads of departments.

On Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), the county government called for capacity building for teachers on the new Competence Based Curriculum to enable them prepare the children well before transiting to Grade One. They also want well pronounced guidelines on the county government involvement in registration of private ECDE centers.

“Pre-primary education is the foundation of learning and just like a sprint, any slow or false start will obviously affect the progress towards the finish,” said the CEC.

County Assembly of Kirinyaga through Chairperson Education Committee, Charles Nyaga, called for introduction of sign language in the new curriculum from early stages. He also called for continuous training of teachers as well as increment of funds towards ECDE and TVETS

Other stakeholders who presented their views to the taskforce included Boards of Management for primary and secondary schools, University lecturers’ unions, students from selected secondary schools, people living with disabilities and private schools’ directors.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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