, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – Stakeholders in the education sector have advocated for career guidance to be offered to students prior to joining tertiary institutions in order to ease their transition into the market industry.
While presenting a research carried out by Linking Industry With Academia (LIWA) on challenges of Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET), Riara University Vice Chancellor Robert Gateru, said although the most applied and taught course in these institutions was on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the uptake of the graduates from this course was still low.
“In order for the graduates to be able to have a high end talent employability they need to be undertaken in a counseling program to guide them on the relevance of their subject to the market industry. For instance, during the research we realized that most of the students opted for ICT courses but when we look at the industry, the course doesn’t appear among the top five employability courses,” he said.
Gateru also noted that lack of enough finances, negative perception in TVET institutions, and lack of corporation between various government agencies as the other challenges facing the TVET institutions.
However, he explained that with a change in the policies to ensure TVET education is a means of employment creation, as well as having a re- look in financing of TVET education to ensure sustainability the education offered in the institutions can prove profitable in enhancing employability of graduates in the industries.
The VC also urged the Education Ministry to consider undertaking a bench marking program in other countries in the region in a bid to improve TVET institutions productivity in the country.
“We recommend for a bench marking program to be arranged with the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), Rwanda to have a glimpse on how the country effectively coordinates its various sectors supporting TVET education, in a bid to improve our own,” Gateru said.
Speaking during the Kenya for Educational for Employment Program forum, the Principal Secretary in charge of Vocational and Technical Training Kevit Desai said that although there was a deficit of over Sh20 billion in the funding of TVET institutions, the ministry was in the process of re- aligning the institutions to be in line with the complex industrial market.
The PS further noted that the re- alignment would involve looking into ways in which they could ensure that technical institutions had a direct promotion of its students to employment.
“The current budget allocation to the institutions is 1.7 percent which is still below. However, the Ministry is looking into ways of improving education in these institutions and some of the steps undertaken have involved having the tutors hired on the basis of their competence,” he said.
In 2018 the total number of students admitted by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) was 28,886.