First ever teachers college in Gatundu to address tutor shortage
Gatundu South constituency in Kiambu county is set to have its first ever fully-fledged teachers training college after the county education board approved its ground breaking last week.
The establishment of Muhoho Teachers Training College at Gatitu Primary School grounds is not only hoped to change the face of the area and further spurring economic developments in the area, but also tackle nationwide teacher shortage.
The institution will accommodate between 3,000 and 5,000 students and will cost approximately Sh1 billion.
According to the facility approval letter seen by the Scholar, the Ministry of Education has allocated Sh20 million in its 2020/2021 budget to kickstart the project.
“Gatundu South National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will provide the balance of the funds in the current and subsequent years to actualise the construction of the institution,” the letter read in part.
Improve education quality
Besides other factors, the ministry appreciated the constituency’s commitment to improve education standards through continued investment in infrastructure in schools and establishment of higher learning institutions.
Area Member of Parliament Moses Kuria welcomed the construction of the multi-million project, which will start in January, saying it will improve the quality of education in the area, allow for return in infrastructural development investments and further improve property value in the area.
“We want to equally distribute developments in all areas. Having a medical training college, a university and a technical institution in Ng’enda ward, we thought of balancing this by initiating a teacher training college in Kiganjo ward,” he said.
“The constituency has also been facing severe shortage of teachers, we hope this college will help solve that problem,” he added.
Residents also welcomed the construction of the facility saying it will open up new developments and create job opportunities for them. “We are ready to put up hostels for lecturers and students.
There will also be room for establishment of other businesses, such as cyber cafes, hotels and salons, which will be needed by the learners and the teaching fraternity,” said an elated George Njoroge Mungai, a resident of Gatitu ward.
If construction of the college will be fully implemented, the constituency will boast of having two major learning institutions including Mama Ngina University, a constituent college of Kenyatta University whose construction is underway at Mutomo village.
The Sh2 billion mega institution, which was conceptualised in 2013 by the late former MP Joseph Ngugi is nearing completion with 70 per cent of its construction works completed.
The university, which will admit at least 10,000 students seeks to alleviate anticipated challenges accrued from the ongoing implementation of universal primary and secondary school programmes that are hoped to increase university enrollments in the future.
Staff housing challenges
Kuria stated that Gatundu has been having housing challenges noting that even staff working in major institutions in the expansive constituency seek housing in far-off areas.
“We are having a problem because lecturers in other colleges in the constituency have to go all the way to Thika, Juja, Kenyatta road and Ruiru.
I will mobilise private investors to work alongside the university to ensure that they take up opportunities in housing,” said Kuria.
In what seeks to transform Mutomo village township, Kenyatta University has expressed its readiness to partner with other experts to develop a comprehensive development plan of the shopping centres around the college.
Construction of the teachers training college in Gatundu comes at a time when Kenya continues to grapple with a huge teacher’s shortage.
According to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the country has 211,046 primary school teachers out of 259,219 required. A total of 48,173 more teachers are needed to fill this gap.
The percentage shortage compares the individual county teacher shortage with its requirement with the total shortage standing at 18.6 per cent.
Technical and vocational colleges are also facing severe teachers shortage that compounds an already explosive staffing problem in the entire education sector.
Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC), which is the country’s only trainer of technical teachers, operates below capacity most of the time.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions, according to Principal Secretary in charge of vocational and technical training Dr Julius Jwan, the colleges have a shortage of 4,500 trainers.