The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Education (PS), Dr. Kevit Desai has urged the industry players to focus on delivering technical machineries that meets the current world market.
Speaking during the launch of the 6th Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) Competition, Desai said African countries believe in the mobility of technology and therefore Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) should ensure that it produces technology and machines that meets the standards required at the international level.
ATC is a skills-based initiative that arose as a result of the TVET partnership with the Aviation Industry of China (AVIC) that started in 2014 to empower youth by equipping them with technical skills, in the form of a training programmes and competition with the most outstanding participants receiving fully sponsored programmes, cash prizes and employment.
“Industrial Four Revolution (IFR) which focus on steam power and energy, assembling, automation and robotics, is all about producing machineries that can meet the highest level of competitiveness, unless we stand up and work together, we will drag behind in the IFR initiative,” Desai reiterated.
He said that technology is relevant in realization of the Big 4 Agenda and had direct links to Universal Healthcare Coverage, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure.
The ATC, the PS noted, has offered students from technical training centers an opportunity to embrace technical skills and create self-employment through competition.
The PS urged the relevant stakeholders including the private sector to join the government in addressing the issue of industrialization collectively.
“The Ministry is paying close attention to TVET with a view to adequately addressing the issues of access and equity, relevance and quality skills in all our institutions. This is evidenced by the Government’s policy of establishing at least a technical training college per constituency,” Desai said.
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Director, Zhao Lei Lei said that ATC’s main objective was to transfer knowledge to youth and enable them to be self-sufficient in enterprises, agriculture and technology.
“We have nurtured young talents and look forward to doing more as we expand the scope of the challenge,” Zhao affirmed.
Zhao added that they have partnered with the Ministry of Education through its TVET Directorate in the last five ATC seasons which have enabled them to strengthen institutions.
He noted that they would like to continue cooperating with other institutions too, to meet the development agenda of the nation.
“AVIC and ATC are committed to contributing to the Government’s agenda of promoting Brand Kenya. It is in line with this that we incorporated “Made in Kenya” in this year’s competition, “Zhao said.
The next ATC Season 6, whose theme is ‘Dream and Invent Your Future,’ will bring together participants from across eight African Countries; Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Gabon, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.
It will focus on enhancing the participants’ skills in technical trainings, in support of the government’s continued efforts to achieve the Big 4 Agenda and the need to bridge performance skills gaps between graduates and the opportunities available.
By Dourice Abuto /Joy Nzula/Wangari Ndirangu