The first public Technical Training Institute in West Pokot County has started enrolling students for May classes this year.
Kitalakapel Training Institute in Kapenguria constituency gives a priority to reformed warriors and ladies who ran away from female genital mutilation as the pioneers of the institute despite the county not having a technical institute since colonial error because of insecurity challenges.
The end to cattle rustling in West Pokot County two years ago has opened a new window for erecting learning institutions in every corner of the county as the community now embraces education as an alternative.
Speaking at the institute, the Kitalakapel Technical Training Institute Principal Mr.John Kibowen said the unique thing concerning the institute is that in the whole North Rift region it’s the only technical institute that has a processing plant.
“So far we have enrolled 60 students, we are offering different courses like general agriculture, ICT, library studies, masonry, social work and community development, business studies among others.” Said Kibowen.
He noted that the community has greatly benefited from the inception of the institute since most of the teaching staff comes from within West Pokot County and also it has created employment and spur business at Kitalakapel market.
He said the fee charges are affordable since the government pays 70% of the school fees to learners and others get county and constituency development fund bursary.
He said their main area of specialization is agriculture value addition and they have processing machines that can process fresh products.
“We can process milk and meat. Our machines also process fresh juices which we can sell at low price and help run the institute,” he said.
He noted that a good number of ladies who had been married at a tender age have now enrolled in different courses like ICT and general agriculture.
“We intend to start new courses that will take three months to incorporate school leavers and drops outs to gain some technical skills” he said
Selina Chepurai a mother of two said she was married off at a younger age after completing her primary education but she now wants to achieve her dreams of becoming a librarian.
“I am a mother and married, during the day while my kids are going to school I also attend my classes we later meet in the evening. We thank the national government for constructing the institute within our locality,” she said.