Challenges facing technical and vocational education and training in Kenya


Date Posted: 9/26/2012 3:05:16 PM

Posted By: ombaba  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 1110

Kenya's vision 2030 blueprint envisages a country that has achieved middle income status supported by five key sectors of the economy. These sectors are; Agriculture, ICT, Manufacturing/Industry, Education and Finance

In manufacturing the blueprint envisages a newly industrialized country, powered by a high-skilled workforce. To get a skilled manpower there has to be world class training. And that is where the problem lies.

To be industrialized kenya needs people with technical skills. There are various challenges facing provision of technical and vocational education training in Kenya.

To begin with, students have a bias against technical courses because they believe that they are of low value than professional courses which promise a higher paying job as well as a higher social status. For example one would rather be a teacher than a carpenter.

Secondly, there are few and unevenly distributed technical training centres. Kenya has over 700 technical training centres which include; four national polytechnics, one technical teachers college, about 35 technical training institutes, and over 600 youth polytechnics (commonly refered to as village polytechnics) which are mostly concentrated in economically endowed counties and almost non-existent in arid and semi-arid areas.

Third there is a consistent decline in the quality of training offered in training centres as a result of declining number of quality trainers and a lack of modern and efficient machine and equipment.

Fourth, there is a lack of relevance in skills taught that match with occupational and social realities present in today's economy. Some training centres continue to teach skills that no longer have a market and ignore those that do have.

Due to emphasis put on professional courses and other factors there is under-enrolment into technical courses resulting in a fewer number of people with technical skills. Training centres also suffer from under-funding as there are normally no or very small allocations

of funds to technical training centres in the budget.

If proper training is not done, there will be a serious shortage of middle level engineers and technologists (as is currently the case) and a high number of unemployed graduates because the skills they have are saturated

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