A state-of-the heart building worth Sh497 million is set to be constructed at Meru National Polytechnic as part of the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony at the institution, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima said the project is being implemented by the national government in collaboration with the World Bank.
She said similar projects were also being implemented in Ethiopia and Tanzania where the World Bank has allocated Sh29 billion with an aim of increasing access and improving the quality of technical vocational education training programs among the youths in the three countries.
“Kenya is getting slightly above Sh6billion which will be used to implement five unique projects in five selected institutions,” said Dr. Mwakima.
Other institutions where such projects are set to be implemented include Kenya Coast National polytechnic, Kisumu National Polytechnic, Kenya Institute of Highway and Building Technology (KIHBT), and KenGen Geothermal Training Centre.
Dr. Mwakima said the building in Meru will house an administration block, 12 lecture halls, five technical drawing rooms, five computer labs, nine workshops, a library, a smart class, and offices.
“Ultimately we want this institution to become a centre for excellence to give our youth regional and global skills in building and civil technology,” said Mwakima.
She called on the young people to take advantage of the centre to get skills necessary for the labour market that requires such kinds of competencies. The project is set to be complete by 2024.
She called on the private sector in consultation with the institution’s council to come up with accommodation as well as other social amenities that will be used by the trainees and trainers from the institution.
“After the completion of this project, we expect more students not only from Kenya but other East African countries as well as Ethiopia and this means the enrolment will go above the current 12,000. We should therefore be thinking of how we shall accommodate all these numbers,” said Mwakima.
She said the project will also spur up the economy of Meru town and the county at large and urged the investors to take up the challenge.
By Dickson Mwiti