President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto yesterday launched the first batch of equipment for 134 new Technical Training Institutes (TTI’s) procured at a cost of Shs 16.7billion.
The equipment for the TTI’s across the country is part of the Jubilee Administration’s efforts to ensuring the development of vocational education and facilitation of reform development in the education sector to meet the nation’s technological needs.
Speaking at the Kenya Coast National Polytechnic in Mombasa County, President Kenyatta said Jubilee has resolved to make technical and vocational training a mainstream in its education systems as a measure to providing the much needed skilled manpower.
President Kenyatta said technical education holds the power to expand the society’s ability to discover and create new interventions to fulfil a better future for the youth.
“This project is aimed at enhancing vocational and technical training in order to equip Kenyans with skills to create employment opportunities for themselves. This is the best way to prepare the youth to compete effectively in the job market,” said President Kenyatta.
“We encourage more students to consider pursuing technical courses to fill the national gap needed to make Kenya an industrially developed state,” he added.
Mr Kenyatta said the Government recognizes the vital role played by TVET in achieving the country’s national development goals.
“Investing heavily in vocational training remains key to the attainment of the country’s development goals as contained in the Vision 2030,” said President Kenyatta.
He said most of the country’s flagship projects under the pillars of Vision 2030 required more human resource with adequate knowledge, skills and competencies that ‘we currently lack’.
“The improvement of roads, connection of electricity to households and the construction of the Standard gauge Railway (SGR) will only benefit the youths if they have knowledge and skills to work in the industrial cities we intend to establish across the country,” said President Kenyatta.
He said increased investments in vocational education remain key priority of the Jubilee administration.
Stressing that the world was driven by knowledge, President Kenyatta said the success of Kenyans as individuals and as a nation will be judged by the level of contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and innovation.
It is for this reason, Mr Kenyatta, said increased investments in education at all levels remain one of the key Government priorities.
The Deputy President said the Government has put in place measures to popularize technical education to attract high student enrolment including allowing TVET students to get access to loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), just like their university counterparts.
Mr Ruto said there is need for paradigm shift in education in the country, saying the current training has opened a skills gap in the job market.
“We want to equip the youth with skills to play a huge contribution in the country’s Vision 2030,” said Mr Ruto.
He said the Government was committed to developing competency-based curriculum for technical courses that will enhance industrial training.
Mr Ruto for the country’s to achieve its industrialization goals; it must train a large chunk of her citizens to acquire technical knowledge, skills and competencies for wealth creation and self-reliance.
He said, “TVET holds the key to the success of our country’s desire to be one of the largest economies in the region.
The Deputy President said the Government would continue to expand technical and vocation education to address shortage of skilled manpower as part of its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2030.
Mr Ruto said the realization of the country’s development goals largely depends on the quality and competence of its manpower.
Mr Ruto urged students to take advantage of the Government’s commitment to expanding technical education so as to get the necessary skills needed in the job market.
He regretted the country was importing skilled manpower working on important projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, geothermal energy, roads construction among other projects because there was shortage of artisans and technologists in the local market.
“Our students must understand that they do not succeed in life only by having a university degree in any field but having a skill is critical for ones personal progression as well as that of the country,” said Mr Ruto.
He said technical institutes provide an important link between communities and the globe adding that such institutions were also key in wealth creation due to the skills and knowledge gained.
Mr Ruto pointed out that job creation for many youths in the country was among the issues technical education would help address.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Vocational Training Principal Secretary Dr Dinah Mwinzi were also present.
Dr Mwinzi said the Government plans to establish training institutes in every constituency to address the shortage of artisans and technicians among other skilled workers.
“The construction f the technical institutes across the country is aimed at facilitating reforms and competency based training in the education sector,” said Dr Mwinzi.
“We want to have high quality manpower to make the Vision 2030 a reality for this country,” she added.
The equipment is under the Kenya-China Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Project II.
President Kenyatta thanked its development partners including China for supporting Kenya’s agenda on technical education.
“The establishment of the technical institutions will go a long way in thriving the country’s industrialization agenda,” said President Kenyatta.