Polytechnics have been urged to invest heavily in research and innovation activities as part of enhancing uptake of technical skills in the country.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) director Dr Mechack Opwora says there is need for most Kenyan youths to acquire technical knowledge, skills and competencies for wealth creation and self-reliance if the country is to achieve its industrialization goals.
To bridge the gap in skilled labour force, Opwora said polytechnics must now realign training programmes to be consistent with the new competency based education and training (CBET) approach and produce globally competent graduates.
He asked vocational and technical training institutions to realign their programmes to fit the nation’s technological needs.
“TVET holds the key to the success of the country’s desire to be one of the largest economies in the region. This we can achieve by training a larger populace on such relevant technical skills,” said Opwora.
He called for a close collaboration between the technical institutions and private sector to ensure skills produced are relevant to their requirement.
The director asked youths, particularly Form Four leavers to take advantage of the Government’s commitment to expanding technical education and enroll so as to get the necessary skills needed in the job 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 one’s personal progression as well as that of the country,” he said recently during the commissioning of modern mechanical engineering equipment worth Sh130million at the Kisumu National Polytechnic.
He revealed that the Tvet department had procured a set of equipment worth Sh16.7billion earmarked for distribution to 134 Technical Training Institutes (TTI’s) across the country.
At the same time, he announced the government’s plans to construct additional vocational and training centres in various parts of the country.
As part of the ongoing reforms in the TVET sector, he reiterated that the Government is committed to developing a competency-based curriculum for technical courses that will enhance industrial training.
“As a department we are committed to ensuring that technical education is facilitated to expand the society’s ability to discover and create new interventions to fulfill a better future for the youth.
That is why modernisation of equipment at the polytechnic is aimed at enhancing vocational and technical training in order to equip Kenyans with skills to create employment opportunities for themselves,” said Opwora.He added: “This is the best way to prepare the youth to compete effectively in the job market.”