Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has appointed Board of Management (BOM) for all the 16 polytechnics in the county to enhance management and spur growth of the institutions.
Waiguru says the BOM will work with the Department of Education to revitalize the vocational training institutions as centers of excellence.
The governor said that the new board members are expected to develop and implement training programmes, mobilize resources and community support. They will also oversee and promote conduct of high standard of quality education and training.
“We are working towards having centers of excellence in various youth polytechnics, to enable our youth access high quality training that will prepare them for the contemporary job market or self-employment,” Waiguru said.
She said appointment of the boards is part of her revitalizing plan for the vocational training centres. The plan aims at giving youth access to skills and technical know-how that will enable them fit into contemporary labor market or self-employment.
Speaking while issuing Members of the boards with appointment letters at Kamiigua polytechnic, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education and Public Service James Kinyua said increased demand for skilled labour in the market place has necessitated change in how polytechnics are managed. He said this part of the latest move by the county government to improve management of the polytechnics.
Mutugi said in the ongoing vocational training centres revitalization programme, the County Government has completed the construction of 18 new classrooms in various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions across the county.
A total of six dormitories, four ablution blocks, two office blocks and two workshops have also been constructed under the county’s polytechnics modernization program.
Additionally, eight more instructors have been hired to address the gaps in training needs, bringing to 110 the total number of polytechnic instructors in the county.
“The revitalization program by our governor which is being implemented across the youth polytechnics in the county, is aimed at enabling the institutions to adequately cater for the training needs of the youth,” Mutugi said.
The CECM said implementation of the programme has seen number of trainees in the institutions almost double.
“In 2017 there were only 10 polytechnics in the entire county, now we have 16 with 6 new ones being built since the start of Governor Anne Waiguru’s tenure. There were only 446 students enrolled in those 10 institutions but now enrollment has risen to 2000 across all 16 polytechnics. We thank our governor for her leadership in revitalizing polytechnics in the county,” the CECM added.
The polytechnics offer various courses including motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, masonry, garment making, hairdressing and beauty, carpentry and joinery, metal work and fabrication, computer and ICT short courses.
“These are highly sought after skills that are highly marketable in the job market,” he added.
While congratulating the new board members for their appointment, Education Chief Officer Patrick Mugo asked them to help in changing community’s perception towards polytechnics.
“For a long time, polytechnics have been viewed as dumping sites for failures, we need to change the general public’s mentality as polytechnics are training institutions that impart various skills in our children, skills they can use and earn a living,” he said.
Kamiigua Polytechnic Principal of Terrence Njiru said that board members are very vital in the management of an institution and helps in the smooth running of leaning institutions.
“Board members help bring integration between the community and school as well as aid in increasing the institution’s population,” he said.
He urged parents to enroll their children in polytechnics, stating that “having our youth in polytechnics keeps them from engaging in illegal activities like drug use and helps them get money making skills.”