Kuria Community has been encouraged to enroll their children in Technical Vocational Colleges (TVCs), or risk losing the institutions altogether.
Speaking during an interactive Open Day Session at Kendege Technical Vocational College in Kuria East, TVET Nyanza Regional Director, Mr. Tom Olango, noted that the government had invested in TVCs in almost every constituency to equip youths with necessary skills in craft and middle-level manpower courses.
Olango said that the low enrollment at the institution may prompt the government to close and convert it into junior or senior secondary.
The institution opened its door in 2020 with 348 students and currently, the population has grown to 728 offering 41 courses.
Olango explained that as per the government directives TVCs should be able to enroll a minimum of 5,000 students to equip learners with necessary technical and artistries skills. He called upon the Kuria Community to wake up and enroll their children to save the institution that has created job opportunities in the area.
The educationist said that the government had a proposed plan to have National Polytechnics in every county and only those institutions with better enrollments and community support will be considered.
He also called upon the Kendege TVC to come up with innovative ideas on how to generate more income to supplement the government budgetary allocations.
“We have TVCs in almost all the constituencies in Kenya and what the government allocated may not be enough. Let the institutions come up with solutions and with the help of the Constituency Development Funds (CDFs) generate the little they can to sustain themselves”, Olango said.
Kendege TVC Principal, Ms. Grace Mauti, asked the Kuria Community to take girl child education very seriously to transform the community in addressing issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
She said that the institution will help the youth to have employment opportunities as well as widen their world views to address challenges facing the youths.
“We have 14 able and skillful tutors employed by the government and an additional 44 by the Board of Governors (BOGs) and I do not understand why the community is reluctant to give us their children,” lamented Mauti.
Mauti also disclosed that 70 percent of students placed under the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) failed to honour their places further reducing the enrollment numbers.
She acknowledged that in September this year KUCCPS placed 300 students in the institution, but only 10 turned up.
She added that one of the main reasons for the low turn up was the lack of hostels and other social amenities and encouraged the local residents to invest in the housing sector to motivate students.
The principal also advised the students to apply for HELB within the stipulated time frame to avoid unnecessary challenges of accessing their tuition fees.
Kendege Board of Governors (BOG) Chairperson Professor Peter Marwa disclosed that the institution was at an advanced stage in striking a collaboration with giant Huawei Tech Company to set up a Huawei Academy Centre. Marwa said that the academy will help equip ICT students with the necessary knowledge, skills and opportunities in the Digital Space World.
He however said that the institution can only benefit if the community takes the enrollment challenge seriously. Professor Marwa also added that the Board can only champion for Huawei collaboration on the numerical strengths of the ICT-enrolled students.
To help boost the enrollment, Kuria East Member of Parliament (MP) Kitayama Maisori has promised to pay Sh. 5000 each for the first 200 students that will be enrolled in January 2023, translating to one million shillings.
By Geoffrey Makokha