Kenya’s education reform is geared towards growth and development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Although TVET until recently had not received the attention it deserves in the human resource development of many countries, well-functioning TVET systems are best placed to train the skilled workforce that is needed to address the socio economic development challenges.
Kenya for example has acknowledged the importance of TVET and has realized that it holds the key to technological progress, rapid industrialization, wealth creation and poverty reduction.
India has been offering full scholarships to Kenyans in the area of TVET through their various development assistance programmes.
The Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Rahul Chhabra talked to Kenya News Agency on the education programmes and the scholarships scheme that they offer for students here in the country.
“Our scholarship scheme was started way back in 1964 as the first Indians Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme to help fellow developing countries achieve the objectives of skilled manpower in all fields for technological and economic development,” Chhabra said.
Since then, the Commissioner who has been in office for only three months, added that thousands of people had been trained across the world with the Indian expertise in Indian institutions and universities.
For Kenyans, he explained, over 300 short term, medium term and long term courses are offered in over 70 institutions.
“India offers a wide range of Technical courses which equip trainers with requisite technical skills for the competitive job market and the year 2018-19, a total of 400 Kenyans had been sent to India for various courses on full scholarship,” he said.
The commissioner explained that basically one Kenyan every day travels to India on a scholarship and he called upon the young people to take advantage of the scholarships by visiting the Indian High Commission website or the ministry of Education.
Apart from the ITEC programme, the commissioner said India’s Africa Scholarship Scheme (AAS) implemented by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) has enabled Kenyans to join reputable Indian universities for IT/ Science, Engineering, Agriculture and Business courses.
Through this programme, this year India is offering 52 scholarships for students to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes at Indian universities in this academic year of 2018-19.
The Indian High Commissioner who hosted alumni from Kenya who have benefited from the scholarship programme on Friday April 19, said they were building a data base on all students who have benefited from various programmes in India and be able to follow up on their progress.
According to the High Commissioner, India’s vision is to support like minded countries in their efforts to educate their citizens and for Kenya, they have devised courses in almost all fields.
Soon, Commissioner Chhabra said, apart from students, they have also mentorship programmes and designed special courses for those working in the ministries and they have held successful programmes for staff of the Housing ministry, Kenya police and also Kenya Defense Forces (KDF)
Chhabra said since many Kenyans are now aware of the programme they will meet the Governors to talk about the education programmes they are offering so that citizens from their counties can also be encouraged to apply.
India is credited with some of the countries high tech successes. It has a massive expansion in tertiary education which has generated human capital base with high expertise.
To continue in supporting Education, High Commissioner Chhabra said they will soon be inaugurating Gandhi library at the University of Nairobi.
Kenya and India’s bilateral trade and commercial ties date back several centuries.
By Wangari Ndirangu