The Community members and education stakeholders have been urged to reinforce their career guidance to youth in their regions in order increase enrollment in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions, which have been identified as key in promoting economic and social development in the country.
Speaking on Friday during a tour of various technical institutes and vocational training centres in Meru County, the Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Kevit Desai noted that there had been poor enrollment despite millions of funds being pumped into the institutions.
Dr. Desai cited the Sh.160 million Kaelo Technical Training Institute in Igembe North Sub County as one of the institutions that has recorded only 20 students since its opening in September last year.
The institution has a capacity of hosting a maximum of 2,000 trainees with the PS calling on the local community to appreciate the efforts in empowering the resident’s through training.
“Even those aged 50 years can join the institutions to perfect their skills in specialization areas,” said Dr. Desai.
He reiterated that the government has invested heavily in equipping the institutions that are key in driving the country’s development blueprint.
“These institutions that most are community based are not only key in promoting technical skills, but also in enhancing attitude change, social and moral skills that our country requires towards achieving integrity and integration,” stated the PS.
He pinpointed that the kind of training provided in the institutions undoubtedly makes trainees both locally and internationally competitive.
Dr. Desai challenged elected leaders at all levels to come on board through offering bursaries to vulnerable youth to enable them join the institutions as a way of supplementing government initiatives to empower young people.
“The more there are trained people in the locality the more the earnings and benefit to the constituents,” posed the PS.
He announced that the government will continue keeping its promise of recruiting more trainers to address the human resource shortage which has been identified as one of the precursors leading to low enrollment in upcoming institutions.
At the same time, he challenged small holder farmers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the existence of the technical institutions in their localities to boost their business ventures.
The Meru County Chief Officer for Education and Technology, Eng. Kirema Mionki lauded the cordial working relationship between the national and county government, adding that facilities in developed institutions should be shared with upcoming county government institutions for effective skills and talent development.
Meanwhile, education Stakeholders in the TVET sector in the county noted that the greatest problem leading to poor enrollment in the upcoming institutions is lack of accommodation and social amenities services.
They are now calling on surrounding communities to consider setting up such facilities in collaboration with the respective institutions to attract more students.
“We are in talks with community members and investors to support the government in this noble venture so that more students can appreciate the establishment of these institutions that the government has pumped in lots of money,” stated the Kaelo Technical Training Institute Board of Governors Chairman, Dr. Cyprian Thiankolu.
Dr. Thiankolu mentioned that the region stands to benefit from the LAPPSET corridor project and asked the government to consider partnering with the institution that lies a few kilometres from the project so that trainees get employment during its construction.
The Karumo TTI Principal, Mutembei Kigige also cited lack of accommodation within the institution and the neighborhood, hence affecting enrollment.
“We have no hostels for trainees. Being in a semi-arid area and far from any major town, we have a challenge of accommodation of trainees especially the NYS trainees. However, we are getting positive nods from the community,” said Mutembei during a meeting with the PS.
By Richard Muhambe