Focus on Sang’alo Institute of Science and Technology one of the oldest institution in the Western region.
Written by Protus Simiyu
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Sang’alo Institute of Science and Technology is one of the oldest middle level colleges in the Western region of Kenya. The Institute opened its doors in 1924 as an animal breeding center under a Scottish Veterinarian Dr. Cameron.
In 1977, the Bungoma Community joined other regions and established the institution as one of the Harambee institutes of Technology to train middle level manpower in Agriculture and related fields. In 1993 it changed from Harambee to public status.
In 1999 the collage experienced serious challenges leading to drastic dismal operations which threatened its existence.
Its students population at a partly 78 in 2002 with a teaching staff of 68, whose salaries were paid by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and a support staff of 35 employees.
The college is located approximately 11 kilometers along the Bungoma- Nambacha road in Sang’alo area. It stands on 300 acres piece of land. The initial 550 acres were donated by paramount chief Sudi Namachanja and of which 250 have been donated to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology for establishment of a campus.
The institute is governend through the Education Act Cap 211 with a Board of Governors (B.O.G) appointed by the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology. The current chairman is Mr. Njibwakale Murambi who has steered the collage to its current status since 2002.
The Chief Principal Sang'alo Institute of Science and Technology Mr. Alfred Machuki.
Other B.O.G members include Mr. Alfred Machuki the school principal and secretary to the board, John Makali, Nazmudin Sharrif, Rev. Fr. Julius Oyoo. Mrs. Gladys Nabiswa, Mrs. Janet Sirandula, Mr. Wabobwa Walinywa, Mrs. Benedetta Sabuni, John Wakwabubi, Dr. Jactone Achola, Mr. Titus Kyui, Dr. Stephen Buluma, the P.T.T.O Western Province, the D.C Bungoma South, The D.E.O Bungoma South, the area MP and the chairman of P.T.A.
The institute also has Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) established in 2007 primarly to complement the B.O.G, s development efforts. The current as per the elections held on 3/2/2012 is Mr. Bonface Marani.
The institution also has a democratically elected student council which acts as a link between the administration and the general student body in as far as their welfare is concerned.
The collage has experienced an upsurge in student enrollment rising from 350 in 2005 to the current enrolment of 1,600. According to the institute’s strategic plan, the number is supposed to increase to 3,000 by the year 2015.
The enrolment per gender stands at 854 male and 746 female drawn from all parts of the country. Of these, the female students pursuing Science and Engineering courses are 213 compared to their male counter parts numbering 564. From the above, female students need to brave the storm and challenge the male in the Science/ engineering field according to the management.
Both the TSC and BOG have ensured that the collage is adequately staffed by teaching and non-teaching staff respectively. The TSC lecturers number 75 in total and are supported by 23 B.O.G recruited staff. The non –teaching staff are 35 in number serving under various sections in the institution with majority being locals.
The collage runs both Kenya Institute of Education (K.I.E) and Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Bodies (KASNEB). Some Diploma courses under the above curricular include, Building Technology, Civil Engineering, Quality Survey, General Agriculture (Modular), Information Studies, Co-operative Management, Clothing Technology, Business Administration, Human Resource Management (modular), Social Work and Community Development (modular), Information Technology (modular), C.P.A, Food and Beverage Production and Applied Biology.
Apart from Diploma’s, the collage also offers certificate courses which include, General Agriculture, Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Block Laying and Concreting, Food and Beverage Production and Service, Human Resource and Personnel Management, Science Laboratory Technology, Garment making, Information Technology, Library Archive and Information Studies, Computer Systems and Application Packages, KATC and KAME- KASNEB, CICT-KASNEB and Sales and Marketing.
Generally the institution has been posting good results compared to sister institutions.
Proposed courses already assessed and awaiting approval by the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology Director of Accreditation and Quality Assurance are; Electrical and Electronics, Analytical Chemistry, Animal Health, Sales and Marketing and Supplies Chain Management.
Strategic planning is a prerequisite for success. Through strategic planning, the institution will be able to organize its resources in such a manner as to minimize costs and maximize on gains.
In line with the modern management practices, the collage has a five years strategic plan developed in 2007 which falls under the review this year. Some of the notable activities that were lined up for 2007 to 2012 period and achieved were; expansion of learning and teaching resources, drafting new programmes in line with changing technology and job market development, involving students in competitions, determination of priority research areas, writing of fundamental proposals, establishment and operationalization of ICT center, establishment of infrastructure for ICT services in the institute-internet, Web design, expand sport facilities, enhancement of staff cohesiveness and promotion of fairness in dealing with staff matters; expansion of exchange programmes, establishment of collaborations with institutions and organization, enhancement of gender equity, mobilization of staff, students and community to address HIV/AIDS pandemic.
It was envisaged that activities would be carried out within the set timelines. To ensure that the objectives are met, the B.O.G among others signed a Performance Contract with the office of the Prime minister in 2009. Annual evaluations have since been done.
The institute’s performance has been rated among the good category. Through this analogy, the institution has endeavored to achieve set targets on annual basis as the strategic plan viz:
The college has consistently involved students and participated in the Western region and National TIVET institutions sports. In Volleyball, the institution has emerged National champions more than 3 times. Currently they are national champions in men and female Volleyball. The college is preparing to host both Regional and National KETISO Ball Games in June and August, 2012 respectively.
The institution enjoys excellent relations with International Child Support (ISC)-Netherlands. Four members of the staff visited The Hague and other farming institutions in Netherlands in December 2010.
As a result of the exchange programmes the institution has been able to set up an automated milking system in its milking parlour.
The instituions' adminstration block.
Administration/ Tuition Block
The institution managed to construct a 2 floor administration cum tuition block housing various heads of departments, the Chief Principal’s office, Deputy Principal, the Registrar, the Accounts department and spacious staff room.
The collage also has constructed 4 tuition blocks with 16 classrooms, 3 hostels (2male and 1 female). The 4th hostel 120 students –sponsored by the PTA (2011) is nearing completion. The above physical facilities according to the management have played an important role in as far improving the collage enrolment is concerned
Through the funding proposals to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MOHEST), the college is constructing 2 workshop blocks to accommodate ;-Automotive Engineering, Civil Engineering and Agriculture Engineering students. They each have spacious room for technical drawing.
The two workshops will ensure that students receive quality training in a well structured and co-ordinated manner that is tailored toward attainment of the Kenya vision 2030. In addition, they will come in handy when it comes to new courses.
In addition to the old exixting buildings which were converted to laboratories, the institute also received funding from MOHEST to construct modern laboratories. The Science Complex building which started in 20120 is 65 per cent complete. When complete it will house Food and Beverage, Science Labs (Physical and Chemistry), Clothing Technology and other Agriculture and animal health related fields.
The collage purchased a 52 seat bus in 2007 courtesy of the 2007 PTA; the Ministry. Through the Center of Excellence Programme available two new tractors, planter, boom sprayer, harrow, disc ploughs and several assorted equipment being used for practical in relevant fields.
To buttress training requirements the institution undertakes the following; Sugarcane Agronomy, Bee KEPPING, Fish Farming, Horticulture, Tissue Culture Banana Farming, Dairy Farming- including Animal Insemination Service apart from extending education facilities to Town Campus for those who cannot make it to the main campus for one reason or another.
Sang’alo Institute of Science and Technlogy has a motto ‘’Technology, our lifeline’’ with a mission to provide skills and quality Training in research, Science and Technology to enhance sustainable National Development.
The vision of the college is to be a Center of Excellence in Capacity Building, Research, Science and Technology with core values in Quality and Intergrity, equality, excellence, professionalism, innovation and creativity, teamwork, collaboration and partnership, corporate Social responsibility, respect for cultural and religious diversity, discipline and diligence, proactive, transparency and accountability.
Through the ministry of Livestock the college received a 1000litre milk cooler to assist the community in preservation of milk products before selling. In collaboration with the District Veterinary office the college as trained on Animal Insemination and using high quality semen the college extends services to the surrounding community. Also, the college avails Tissue culture bananas to the community at subsidized rate.
Sang’alo institute of Science of Technology enjoys an immense support from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology with majority of the facilities and equipment being courtesy of the ministry.
Teachers Service Commission has also done exceptionally through provision of the teaching staff , the staff, parents,students and the stakeholders have played a noble role to make Sang’alo Institute of Science and Techology to be what it now with much optimism to became a fully fledged University in future.