The government has disclosed plans to introduce specialized courses in Technical and Vocational Training Centers to bolster enrollment levels, while equipping trainees with skills to address local challenges.
The Principal Secretary (PS) in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Kevit Desai said the VTCs are currently offering training that was aligned with the realization of the government’s development agenda, but added the curriculum will in future be enhanced to include courses intended to focus on exploiting local opportunities.
Speaking during a tour of three VTCs in Taita-Taveta County on Monday, the PS said there was need for the potential in the institutions to be fully exploited by boosting the enrolment levels. He said that the government had delivered equipment worth hundreds of millions to several institutions as part of growing a body of skilled trainers who will drive the development agenda.
“No development can be achieved without the skills from plumbers, electrician, craftsmen, electricians and technicians. This is why we want people interested in acquiring skills to join these institutions,” said the PS.
The PS was accompanied by Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari, the VTCs acting Director, Tom Mulatia and other senior government officials in Coast region.
The MP commended the government for equipping the TVC with state-of-the-art equipment stating the young people will acquire skills to help them enter job market.
However, he pointed out that the only limitation to the training offered in the institutions was that the curriculum was geared towards achieving very broad goals and overlooked localized challenges.
“We have a lot of mining areas in this region but the TVTCs are not offering courses in mining. It would be better to introduce such courses to appeal to the local youth who want to go into mining,” he said.
The PS later, opened a 270-capacity hostel at Coast Institute of Technology. He also opened the Taveta TVC as he called upon local leaders to popularize the institutions terming them as avenues of linking youths to the job market.
He stated that the government was committed to equipping the institutions and nurture a generation of young innovators who will spur economic growth.
The PS however, expressed regret that the potential in the institutions have not been fully exploited.
The challenge of enrolment came to the fore after it emerged that Kinango TVC with a capacity of 1,000 students had less than 50 students. The Taveta TVC with a capacity of 1,300 had 30 students only. In contrast, Coast Institute of Technology (CIT) which is in Voi town was bursting at the seams with population of 3,050 learners against a recommended enrolment of 1,900.
To address this challenge, the government will partner with county governments and other elected leaders to market Vocational Training Centers (VTC) as innovation hubs for driving the Big 4 Agenda.
“We are now asking the counties and leaders to tell their people about the massive opportunities available and the capacities of our institutions,” said the PS.
He urged the managers of VTCs to work closely with private investors as a way of creating linkages between training and the market needs.
The PS expressed optimism that population of trainees in VTCs will grow noting that the current population of 250,000 was an improvement from last year.
He also urged the VTCs to align their strategic plans with County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP) to strengthen the involvement of county governments in development.
He disclosed that there was sh. 100 million kitty for innovations that meet the required professional standards.
To boost enrolment, the government gives a capitation of sh.30,000 to encourage learners to enroll and has pegged the annual fee at sh.54,000
By Wagema Mwangi