The Kirinyaga County government has completed the construction of 18 new classrooms in various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the area.
A total of six dormitories, four ablution blocks, two office blocks, and two workshops have also been constructed under the county’s polytechnics modernization program.
Additionally, eight more instructors have been hired to address the gaps in training needs, bringing to 110 the total number of polytechnic instructors in the county.
Governor Anne Waiguru has said that the modernization program, being implemented across the 15 youth polytechnics in the county, is aimed at enabling the institutions to adequately cater for the training needs of the youth.
“Through vocational education and training, my administration is committed to giving our youth access to skills and technical know-how that will enable them to fit into contemporary labor market or self-employment,” the governor said.
The polytechnics, which currently have an enrollment of about 1,100 trainees, offer various courses including motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, masonry, garment making, hairdressing, and beauty, carpentry and joinery, metalwork and fabrication, computer and ICT short courses.
Waiguru said that the county government has also equipped the polytechnics with the relevant tools, teaching and learning materials to ensure that trainees acquire high quality training.
Some of the polytechnics that have benefited from new classrooms include Kaitheri, Kiambwe, Kimweas, Kiamikuyu, Kiamwathi, Thome, Kiamuthambi and Ngucui, while Mucii Wa Urata and Nyangati are among those that have gotten new dormitories.
“My administration will continue investing heavily in expansion of infrastructure and equipment of the polytechnics as well as enhancing home craft activities to facilitate applied technology transfer to our women, youth, and people living with disabilities,” said the governor.
She added that her government is committed to offering sustained quality and inclusive training that will produce appropriate skilled artisans, while encouraging more parents and guardians to enroll their children in the polytechnics.
She said the polytechnics are already implementing the new Competence-Based Education and Training (CBET) curriculum that enables trainees to be assessed and certified based on their areas of competence.
The curriculum recognizes that learners have different aptitudes and potential and therefore are certified in the courses in which they excel, other than being judged based on a combination of courses some of which they may be incompetent.
Graduates from youth polytechnics can be employed in the hospitality sector, the fast-growing hair and beauty industry, furniture making industry, construction industry, clothes and textile industry as well as interior designing industry among others.
To join a polytechnic for National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) qualifications, one needs not to have done any national exam.
However, for one to enroll for Artisan Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) qualifications, one must be a holder of at least a KCPE certificate.
By Irungu Mwangi