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Why village polytechnics could be on their deathbed

By HENRY NG’ANG’A
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As a youth polytechnic ICT instructor, I’m concerned that youth (or village) polytechnics have been struggling for survival for the past three years.

These institutions are mandated to train students in vocational or technical courses.

Previously, they used to get funding from the national government, with every trainee getting Sh15,000 per year.

FUNDS
The last disbursement of this money was in 2014.

That means the school fees for trainees has to fill the gap — which is impossible, bearing in mind the nature of students enrolled.

From their inception, they have been enrolling students who do not meet minimum qualifications for Form One.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS
One of the biggest challenges the institutions face is low enrolment due to mushrooming secondary schools that take in all students, including those who scored poorly.

With the current directive from Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i that all those who sat their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination last year should be enrolled in secondary school, there is a cause for concern.

SKILLS
These institutions have failed to change. Most of them still use the 1990s teaching methods and are rigid.

In addition to the technical skills offered, the trainees should also get entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills in order to empower and sustain them in the job market.

Henry Ng’ang’a, Nyeri.