Growing technical colleges offer hope to youth
Enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) institutions has been on a steady rise and is expected to hit the 400,000 mark this year.
Vocational and Technical Training (VTT) Principal Secretary Dr Kevit Desai says by last month, the figures stood at 270,000 and 150,000 for TVET institutions and vocational institutions, respectively.
“The key challenge in these institutions has been a mismatch between the skills offered to the youth and those demanded by potential employers,” he says.
He adds that the government has been working to address the skills side of the problem by carrying reforms which include prioritising significant budget resources to the construction, refurbishment and equipping of technical institutions across the country.
The State has also introduced Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) framework to address skill mismatch by providing for industry engagement in curriculum design, implementation and management of Tvet institutions.
A monitoring exercise on CBET courses will be conducted next month to establish the progress of its implementation.
Last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results indicated that out of the 667,222 candidates, 125,746-scored at least grade of C+ (plus), the minimum university entry grade.
This means the remaining 541, 476 will have to seek other options of higher learning, including Tvets.
“We invite the learners to apply for placement to our Tvets and assure them that they are getting into something new, more competitive and has market value. Tvets are the paradigm shift and we will produce good results,” says the PS.
The State also has been grappling with a change in the public mind-set on Tvet institutions, as many people perceive them as inferior to other colleges and vocations such as military careers.
But over the last few years, emphasis has been made to counter the situation, resulting in a huge number KCSE candidates who opt to join Tvets.
Desai encourages young people to join the now vibrant sector, saying the training is geared for the competitive job market.