Technical colleges in Kenya will review their fees structure downwards by between 30 to 50 per cent in an ambitious move that seeks to increase student population. Deputy President William Ruto has said the new fees structure will be out in the next two months to make technical education accessible to all Kenyans. He further revealed that the schemes of service for lecturers in technical colleges would be changed from July in a bid to boost their morale. “For a long time, the lecturers were grouped together with teachers in primary and secondary schools. This impeded career growth, impacting negatively on their performance. However, we must put technical education in its rightful place,” he said.
The DP was speaking in Kajiado County during a graduation ceremony at the Masai Technical Training Institute. According to him, plans to enhance technical education began five years ago and is now being intensified. “It is not possible to make Kenya a middle-income level economy without the men and women who will drive that agenda. That is why we had a paradigm shift for we knew that in technical colleges lie the transformation of our country,” he said.
In the new changes, technical education training will stop being assessed in the same way as formal education; teaching is to be skewed towards competence rather than theory. More importantly, bursaries that were given to secondary students will now be channeled to those pursuing their education at technical colleges. Mr. Ruto noted that the Kenyan economy would have been at par with Singapore and Malaysia “but was delayed because we left the technical education behind”. He further added that the government has been constructing at least one technical training college in every constituency, a move that has so far seen over 130 new institutions launched. On his part, Principal Wesley Yegon said Masai Technical Training Institute has seen the student population triple within a two-year period. “The partnership between the national government, the Kajiado County Government and this institution has played a big role in imparting knowledge to our students. Their skills will play a key role in achievement of the Big Four agenda,” he said.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku noted that technical training colleges are economic engines that need to be supported by both the national and county governments. Similar sentiments were echoed by the PS in charge of Vocational and Technical Training Kevit Desai who said competency-based education requires collaboration and consistency. MPs present were Peris Tobiko (Kajiado East), Elijah Memusi (Kajiado Central) and Janet Teiya (Kajity).