The Ministry of Education plans to set up vocational training centres in every ward in the country.
Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Dinah Mwinzi said Kenya currently has 800 vocational training centres, also popularly known as polytechnics, but the ministry will increase the number to 1,450 to correspond with the number of wards in the country.
“The government plans to have vocational training centres in every ward in the country, which will be 1,450 in total from the current 800 to cater for the huge number of the youths who are unable to get into universities,” said Dr Mwinzi (pictured).
She was addressing the media during the signing of a partnership in ICT training between the Management University of Africa and the Indian Institute of Hardware Technology (IIHT) in South C, Nairobi Wednesday.
The PS also said that the number of technical institutions in the country would also be increased from the current 150 to 290 to cater for every constituency in Kenya besides also increasing the number of national polytechnics by three from the current eight to 11.
She said this was part of the ministry’s plans to roll out a new curriculum that will be competency-based rather than knowledge-based in order to impart relevant technical skills on the young people that will, in turn, enhance their suitability for employment or becoming job creators in an economy that is becoming fully digitised.
“We need to give our youths the right skills, and that is what the current curriculum changes are geared towards. We want to move from rote learning to competency-based learning,” she said.
Dr Mwinzi differed with the notion that there are no employment opportunities in the country, saying the problem lies in the skills that graduates are imparted with.
She encouraged training institutions to adopt a hands-on approach in the training of their students.
“There are employment opportunities in the country, but the only problem is that graduates only have the knowledge and not requisite skills needed by employers. We need a young population with industry-ready skills so that they can be easily employed and also create jobs for others,” said the PS.
She also urged learning institutions to emphasise IT training as such skills will be relevant in the economy.
Dr Mwinzi said that the institutions must also spread their skills across the country, especially among the youth in rural areas.
“It is imperative that universities regularly evaluate their programmes and seek to enhance and introduce skills development that empowers their students to effectively put the knowledge acquired to practice,” she said.
The PS called for the development of talent academies across the country to tap into the talents and prowess that Kenya has.
“We have prowess in sports, music and other co-curriculum activities which we must harness in order to kill over-reliance on only employment,” she said.