About 50 Master Trainers from Technical Training Institutions in Kenya are set to benefit from advanced Technical Training in China at a cost of USD 8,500 (Sh 875,500) per trainee.
The training was preceded by five months Training of Trainers (ToTs) courses held in Kenya for about 152 Trainers in mechatronics, welding, electrical and electronics, mechanical, automotive and agricultural value addition technologies.
Three other trainings for civil construction, refrigeration and air conditioning are on-going. The training for each discipline costs the government Sh14.4 million. The trainers will form a key pool of resource that will be used locally to train TVET trainers in Technical Institutions. Four trainers from each discipline who emerged the best during the five months training were selected to attend the advanced training.
The PS, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training in the Ministry of Education Dr Kevit Desai who officially opened the course for the first group of 24 Master Trainers at Ningbo Polytechnic in China said he was happy to meet the trainers and witness for himself the of level and quality of training they were receiving.
He noted that China was highly advanced technologically and disclosed that the trainers would be trained on precision technology to skill them in production technology.
This, the PS noted, would enable them adhere to application of standards in all their undertakings as well as create enterprises, research and innovation opportunities for TVET.
After completing the course, the PS observed, the trainers would train other trainers and TVET students on how to manufacture industrial quality products and spare parts to exact measurements, tolerances and standards, thus raising the quality of manufactured products to international standards.
Only 12 out of the 24 trainers are training at the Polytechnic that has a student population of 20,000. The rest are training in three other Polytechnics namely Nantong Shipping College, Jiangsu Agricultural and Forest College and Fujian Chuanzeng Communication College.
Dr Desai observed that one of the reasons for China’s success was that it pays homage to TVET hence empowering the entire society.
He noted that Kenya was going through massive TVET reforms whose emphasis was in equity and quality access to technical education to enhance TVET values.
The Polytechnic has seven faculties offering five majors namely; Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Electronic Information Engineering, Arts and Business Administration.
In addition, the Polytechnic also offers programmes in port management, automotive industry and business management.
During the function that was also attended by among others the President of Ningbo Polytechnic Prof. Zhang Huibo, Deputy General Manager of AVIC International Project and Engineering Company Mr Zhao Lei Lei, administrators and trainers from Ningbo Polytechnic, Dr Desai hailed the cordial relationship and cooperation the two countries enjoy and noted the partnership between the two countries on technical training had helped to raise the standards of Technical Education in Kenya.
He added that Kenya would continue to bench mark with the best countries in order to promote technical education which was expected to not only generate skills for national development and play a role in the promotion of national values, but was also key in the realization of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda of providing world class skills for irrigation, construction and maintenance of Health facilities.
In this regard, the PS noted, the Ministry of Education in partnership with a supplier from China, AVIC International Holdings Ltd, had supplied and equipped 144 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutions with modern training equipment worth Sh16.8 billion for ten disciplines and built capacity for trainers on the use of the equipment.
During the opening ceremony, the President of the Polytechnic Prof Zhang Huibo observed that the college was the first to be recognized by Ministry of Education in China and has students from developed and developing countries.
In addition, he disclosed that the polytechnic partners with countries such as United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and has a fully-fledged productive industry within the institution that receives orders to manufacture products for companies in China.
Prof Zhang observed that in 2013, the polytechnic developed a research facility and established a TVET think tank for developing countries adding that so far, 58 Kenyan students had studied in the Polytechnic.
Lei Lei, the Deputy General Manager of AVIC International Project and Engineering Company that supplied all the equipment for ten disciplines to the Technical Institutions and conducted capacity building for trainers on the use of the equipment, observed that by end of September this year, training for all disciplines would be finalised.
By Perpetual Mwangi