Youths urged to embrace vocational training
Youths in Trans Nzoia County and its environs have been urged to embrace technical trainings to acquire different skills that can enable them earn a living and be self reliant.
Speaking during an exhibition ceremony of different products produced by different youth polytechnics and vocational centers held at the Kitale Vocational Training Center, the executive committee member for education and ICT Dr. Isaac Kogo said that it is important for youths especially those who dropped out of primary or secondary schools and others who are just idle after completing their secondary school education to join the institutions that have been well funded by the county government.
Kogo said that the county government has established at least one youth polytechnic in each of the 25 wards in the county.
“The county government of Trans Nzoia has build one youth polytechnic in each ward in this county such that we now have 28 youth polytechnics in the county that can accommodate youths from each part of the county to train and acquire skills in different fields,” said Kogo.
The CEC further revealed that apart from infrastructure in the institutions including construction of twin workshops that cost over Ksh. 90 million the county government has also purchased equipment that amounts to over Ksh. 30 million that is still ongoing.
“As a county government we are committed to equipping all the youth polytechnics with modern equipment to ensure that the students are trained with the modern technological machines that are in tandem with the market demands,” he added.
The county government is also scheduled to employ 140 instructors that shall take over from the volunteer trainers or rather instructors that have been in charge of most youth polytechnics that have not had proper structures in place to run the institutions.
Most of the centers have been run and managed by volunteers who had not been subjected to proper educational requirements that are now being looked at before the hiring process of the instructors.
Lack of trained instructors and managers has been an impediment to the enhancement and expansion of the youth polytechnics in the county and has been the cause of low enrolment of students who get discouraged and drop out because of the low motivation and the initial lack of equipment in the institutions.
Apart from the infrastructure and equipment in the polytechnics, the county government according to Kogo, has also put in place measures to give the students bursaries and scholarships as one way of motivating and promoting the vocational trainings in the county.
“The county government is offering bursaries to the students that enroll in these centers in the county and I have directed managers not to raise the school fees above Ksh. 10,000 because we are sponsoring most of the things in the youth polytechnics,” said Kogo.
On the same line of bursaries, the director of youth training in the county Eliud Lusweti urged the members of the county assembly not to cut down and divert the funds that have been allocated to the youth polytechnics and Early Childhood Education centers in the county.
Lusweti noted that despite technical training and ECD education being the only functions in the education sector that were devolved under the new constitution, the MCAs had gone ahead to change a clause in the act that set aside 30 per cent of the funds for education to go to the polytechnics and ECDs so that the money can also be allocated to students in secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities.
He revealed that the MCAs had acted on the pretext that the youth polytechnics had no substantial number of students to be allocated such money hence should be downsized to accommodate the other cadre of students that carry the largest number.
The director said that the students in youth polytechnics or vocational training centers and ECDs have a right to benefit from the funds just like any other students in other learning institutions whom he said were benefitting from other government bursaries such as CDF, HELB among others.
However the chairman of education committee in the county assembly of Trans Nzoia Sam Mutuli Buyela called upon those in charge of the youth polytechnics to do enough publicity and awareness to attract more students to the institutions and vowed to support them.
“We want you to do such exhibitions and activities touching on the youth polytechnics on a rotational manner such that after hosting this one here at Kitale Vocational Training Center, next time let the activity be held in Cherangany and other sub-counties so that people in those areas can also know of what takes place in the youth polytechnics and the changes that have been achieved so far,” said Mutuli.
At the same time the chief officer in the ministry of education in the county Mr. John Meng’wa noted that the youths who join youth polytechnics should not fear that they wouldn’t acquire the highest level of education revealing that there is a new program that allows one to advance the levels of education through the technical institutions.
He further said that the World is now going technical and therefore parents and youths should start embracing technical trainings bearing in mind that the white color jobs are getting scarce all over as the technical skills take over.
The chief officer further pointed out that the youth polytechnics and the vocational centers are not meant for youths alone because even adults and people who are employed in the public and private sector can also attend part time classes to acquire technical skills that can help them be self reliant in various aspects or enable them to employ others especially the youths.
Among the courses being offered in most of the youth and vocational training centers include motor vehicle engineering, tailoring, beauty therapy and hair dressing, masonry and carpentry, welding and building and construction among others.