Matiang’i urges youths to embrace technical training

January 10, 2017 5:33 am
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CS Fred Matiang’i presents a certificate to the 2017 Wings To Fly beneficiaries. The Wings to Fly Program, has so far benefited 14,368 deserving students/CFM NEWS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has urged youths in the country to embrace courses offered at Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions in order to acquire skills needed for the country to achieve Vision 2030.

Speaking during the award of the Wings to Fly scholarships to 1,700 students who took the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in 2016, Matiang’i said technical training was key to accomplishing the country’s development agenda.

Overview
  • “Time has come for us to embrace the role of tertiary and technical training in national development,” he said adding: “ We must shift from the populist view of white collar jobs which are highly pegged on university degree qualifications and focus more on skills-oriented approaches that equip our youths with practical skills that match their aspirations and help our country became a middle-income industrialised nation.”

“Time has come for us to embrace the role of tertiary and technical training in national development,” he said adding: “ We must shift from the populist view of white collar jobs which are highly pegged on university degree qualifications and focus more on skills-oriented approaches that equip our youths with practical skills that match their aspirations and help our country became a middle-income industrialised nation.”

According to Matiang’i, undue pressure on non-technical courses has weighed down universities over the years yet huge investments made in TVET institutions remained underutilised. This situation according to the CS, needed to be addressed in order to ensure the nation get requisite skills in order to achieve a middle-income status by the year 2030.

READ: Align programmes to Vision 2030, Matiang’i urges varsities

“I wish to encourage the youths to apply for courses in TVET where capacity is ever unmet,” he said. “ For instance in 2015, out of 50,000 declared vacancies in TVET, only 12,000 applied to join TVET colleges – leaving an excess capacity of 38,000 places.”

The Cabinet Secretary further pointed at the availability of loans disbursed by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to students enrolled to technical institutions as evidence of the opportunities that lie untapped.

His calls for focus on technical training programmes come barely a month after similar calls late last year when he challenged universities to align their programmes to the country’s Vision 2030.

“The number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses in our universities is probably a third of the entire student population. This is not a promising sign for a country that wishes to speed up and fast track the middle income status,” said Matiang’i when he presided over University of Nairobi’s 56th graduation ceremony at the Chancellor’s Court on December 2.

Matiang’i also indicated that the Education Ministry was already enforcing a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to assign learners Unique Personal Identifiers (UPIs) which will be used to track the progress of learners throughout their period in institutions of learning.

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