The Government has approved recruitment of 6,000 instructors for
Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET), institutions across the country.
This will go a long way in addressing the biting shortage of this cadre of staff and bridge the ever-widening gap between the ratios of instructors to the number of trainees.
Speaking at Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology (RIAT), yesterday, while opening a driving school, Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Vocational & Technical Training, Dr Margaret Mwakima, said the student population has far overstretched existing facilities.
Dr Mwakima said the driving school was built at a cost of Sh43 million by a former student, demonstrating that the kind of training they offered met the global standards and so will attract a greater number of young people seeking quality driving lessons.
“We have equipped TVET institutions whose numbers have grown tremendously from 51 in 2013 to a record 238 this year. However, the number of trainers expected to impart relevant knowledge in line with the Big4 Agenda is low,” explained the PS.
She said the government has committed to invest in TVET institutions, owing to the critical role its graduates play in job creation, adaptation and use of modern technologies that are crucial to transform Kenya into an industrial based economy.
Dr Mwakima said RIAT has taken leadership in offering programs that are relevant to industry needs and meet international standards.
“Graduates of this great institution should not only be able to gain employment in the global market but also become self-reliant and employers too,” she added.
This gigantic shift has given rise to a demand for uniquely transformative technical skills, a demand that can only be quenched by a properly developed and thoroughly implemented Competency –Based Education and Training (CBET) program, stated Dr Mwakima.
She argued that industry- focused, quality, demand-driven CBET programs are the foolproof means of ensuring immediate and sustainable employability of TVET graduates.
The Government efforts and deliberate steps to invest heavily through infrastructural and human resource development, formulation of proactive regulatory framework and subsidized tuition fees, was aimed at ensuring that the sleeping giant is awakened to play its rightful role.
In addition, she said, Diploma students just like their degree counterparts can now access Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funding, both in public and private institutions.
“I urge the youth to seize the opportunity to acquire necessary life-long skills, and competencies that will enable them compete favorably in the workplace,” stated the PS.
She said the establishment of RIAT Driving School for which the institution invested Sh6 million from their coffers, was done following the public demand for safe and responsible driving and to minimize deaths on our roads, more so of the boda boda riders.
National Transport & Safety Authority (NTSA), Programs Director, Samuel Musumba, disclosed that boda boda training that started in Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos has continued to have overwhelming response and thus the need to scale-up the exercise to cover the entire country, with a view to curbing deaths attributed to reckless driving.
He appealed to all the 47 counties to supplement the National Government efforts aimed at curbing the deaths on our roads through pushing the training seeking behavioral change and for purposes of licensing.
By Joseph Ouma