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County to spend Sh52 million to upgrade technical institutions

Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Pater Ndambiri issues a certificate to a  participant during the county vocational training centers music festival 2019 at Catholic Hall Kerugoya.
Photo by Irungu Mwangi/KNA

Kirinyaga County has in 2019 budgeted Sh52 million to upgrade fifteen vocational training centers.
The money, according to Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri, will be used to improve the institution’s infrastructure and other tuition requirements to keep the students in the school.
Ndambiri said some of the money will go towards sponsoring individual students to acquire tools needed for their training.
Already, Ndambiri said, the county government has invested heavily in putting up 12 additional classrooms, three at Kiambwe, Kiamuthambi, Kaitheri, 2 classrooms at Nderiti and 2 at Kiamikuyu youth polytechnics.
Nyangati and Mucii Wa Urata Youth Polytechnic had each benefited from the construction of a dormitory which has improved boarding accommodation for students who cannot commute daily to the institute.
Ndambiri who was speaking at Kerugoya during the Kirinyaga County Vocational Training Center music festival held at the Catholic Hall said there is need to ensure youths were trained in marketable skills.
“We want our youth to get skills and knowledge which will enable them get placed in the job market or get self-employed,” he said.
Ndambiri said they have equipped the polytechnics with tools and instruction materials that are up to date especially in the training of information technology related courses.
He said when they took over the government two years ago, the student population was very low with some of the centers having more trainers than the students.
“The situation has since changed and we have witnessed an influx of students joining the institutions.”
He said the youth polytechnics are not for those who fail to perform well in their national examinations but for those who would wish to acquire skills.
“The labour market is in search of skilled workers and this is why we’re making these centers competitive to compete with any other related training.”
He said one of the President’s big 4 agenda is housing and Kirinyaga has been allocated 3,000 affordable housing units under the programme.
“We shall not be able to have skilled workers to implement the housing project if we don’t train our youth and we may be forced to look for the labour outside Kirinyaga,” he said.
“It is upon us to go even if it is door-to-door to ensure we don’t have young people idling in their homes with poor grades” Ndambiri said.
He said there must be a deliberate effort to fill the gaps using the skills offered in the youth polytechnics pointing out that the public must be willing to change their mind set regarding the institutions as the option for failures.
The DG said the county will soon launch an industrial park at Sagana where Engineers will be required for processes of value addition industries.
“We need well trained individuals to fit the growth of the county in the processing of tomatoes, coffee and others and this is why we are out to empower the youth in readiness for the opportunities” he said.
The deputy governor said training of the youth is a component in the whole chain to make the county prosper.
He said Governor Anne Waiguru was working with other leaders in Mt. Kenya for the revival of the railway line to Nanyuki.
DG Ndambiri said leaders had decided to give the revival of the railway a priority which could proof difficult without the provision of skilled workers.
During the festival, Kaitheri polytechnic emerged the best in the function that had been organized by the county government.
The county music festival attracted participants from all the 15 polytechnics with 11 of them presenting chorals, solo poems, dances and folk songs.
The best teams will represent the county at the National Music festival for vocational training centers to be held in August.
By Irungu Mwangi

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