Enrolment in technical vocational centres in Nyeri County has sharply dropped over the last two years despite heavy investment by the county government to offer training opportunities for Form Four leavers.The trainee numbers have gone down by nearly 1,000 within the period There has been High levels of unemployment in the county as seen by the government invest generously on technical skills in the hope of giving youths the skills to seek and create blue collar jobs, therefore the downward trend is worrying.
The vocational centres, also referred to as youth polytechnics, offer training in technical skills such as electrical courses, plumbing, food and beverage, mechanical, carpentry and joinery, welding, fashion and design and ICT.According to Mrs Macharia who's the county Executive member of education in Nyeri many students prefer to remain at home rather than take the hands-on courses although they cannot get admission for degree and diploma courses.Further, the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary schools, although commendable, has negatively affected the institutions. Before the government adopted the policy, many learners who dropped out of primary school would enrol in the youth polytechnics to acquire skills that they could use to find jobs or go into self-employment. The vocational centres now have to rely on secondary school leavers, many of whom shun them.
That was the reasoning behind the national government’s strategy to open a TVET institution in every constituency in the country and also the funding of technical vocational centres by the county governments.Ms Macharia called for youths to enrol in the vocational centres whatever their academic qualifications, insisting that the demand for skilled labour is on the rise."People who come from technical institutions do not look for employment, it finds them. A skilled mason takes home a minimum of Sh2,000 per day and since buildings are still coming up, they are employed all through,” she said.
Out of the 747,161 students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, 604,021 did not qualify for admission for university education. They are expected to enrol in TVET institutions for diploma, certificate and artisan courses depending on their qualifications and interests.
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