Kirinyaga County has called for the increment of funding to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students studying in village polytechnics to match their counterparts in National TVETs.
In a memorandum presented to the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms on Monday, the County Government indicated that while students training at the national TVETs get Ksh 30,000 as capitation to aid their studies, those in county TVETs get only Ksh 15,000, a factor that discourages many young people from enrolling in the polytechnics run by the county governments.
The memorandum presented by the County Executive Committee Member for Education, James Kinyua, also recommends that the TVETs be allowed to manage the capitation over a duration of time so as to create sustainable production units that can generate income for the institutions.
At the same time, the national government was requested to consider paying for examination and assessment fees for Kenya National Examination Council and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) candidates so as to increase the completion rate. “Many trainees undertake the various courses offered in our TVETs but prohibitive exam fees discourage them from sitting for the exams thus walking out of the institutions without certification.” Said the CEC, noting that many of those enrolling in such institutions come from financially unstable families.
He also called for consideration of TVET students by the Higher Education Loans Board just like students in other technical institutions. The county government also recommended that Universities be restricted to implement graduate and post-graduate programs while Technical Training institutes are left to handle diploma and craft certificate programs only. The VTCs should in turn implement artisan certificates and NITA programs.
Kinyua called for formulation of a clear policy on the time-frame for reviewing the curriculum for technical education so as to match with the changes in technology.
To enable TVETs handle students with disabilities, the CEC noted that there was need to build the capacity of polytechnic instructors to enable them handle such students.
The county government also called for formulation of a scheme of service for TVETs in line with Salaries and Remuneration Commission (CRC) guidelines, as well as a clear policy on promotion of instructors and remuneration of instructors with responsibilities such as managers, deputies and heads of departments.
On Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), the county government called for capacity building of teachers on the new Competence Based Curriculum to enable them prepare the children well before transiting to Grace One. They also want well pronounced guidelines on the county government involvement in registration of private ECDE centers.
“Preprimary education is the foundation of learning and just like a sprint, any slow or false start will obviously affect the progress towards the finish” said the CEC.
On implementation of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) the county government recommended that Junior Secondary Schools should be domiciled in the current primary schools to save on costs of implementation. It also recommended for re-introduction of technical high schools to prepare learners early enough for technical training.
Other stakeholders who presented their views to the taskforce included Boards of Management for primary and secondary schools, University lecturers unions, students from selected secondary schools, people living with disabilities, and private schools directors. While majority of them supported CBC, they all called for proper and consultative implementation.