Concern over low enrollments in Nyeri youth polys


In summary

-1,500 youths have benefited from the programme that will see them join various technical and vocational centres in the Kieni constituency.

– Low enrollment has been attributed to a negative attitude driven by an obsession with degrees and white-collar jobs.

-Kieni constituency has 9 vocational and training centres; Endarasha, Watuka, Nairutia, Amboni Kiamathaga, Kimahuri, Karundas, Warazo and Kieni TVC.

Despite the government spending billions to equip technical and vocational training centres with modern equipment, the majority of vocational colleges in Kieni constituency remain empty due to lack of students.

Technical and vocational colleges popularly known as youth polytechnics were established to propel Kenya’s industrial and economic growth by equipping youths with the required skills and competencies to meet local and international standards.

In Kieni constituency there are nine vocational training centres which have experienced low enrollment in the past few years as the majority of the youth have developed a negative attitude towards the Technical and Vocational training institutions, they are driven by white colour jobs and degree possession.

Most of those who do not qualify to join tertiary institutions end up indulging in alcohol and drug abuse leaving vocational centres empty.

To turn this round, over 1500 youth from Kieni constituency have benefited from scholarships for technical courses from the area MP to join various vocational centres within the constituency.

Moses Kande, one of the beneficiaries said he completed his secondary school education in 2017 but his grade could not take him to the University of his Dreams and he considered vocational courses inferior to those offered in universities.

“After the KCSE results were released, I achieved a poor grade that could not take me to any tertiary institution, I thought courses in tertiary and vocational centres are for failures in life,” he said.

He added that his parents could not afford school fees for him to study as a self-sponsored student, which impacted his life negatively.

“I come from a poor background, my parents could not afford to pay for my tuition fee, I had to stay at home and due to peer pressure I started indulging in drugs and alcohol abuse,” he said.

Kande who is set to join Kieni Technical and Vocational College to study Electronic installation said it will change his life positively.

“After fighting addiction for more than 5 years, I’m glad that I will now have a skill that will make him earn a living and create jobs,” he said.

Michael Karani’s case is similar to that of Kande, he is ready to join Nairutia Vocational Training Center to study Defensive driving said that he opted to join the bodaboda industry after he completed his KCSE in 2016.
“I always wanted to be a driver but I have never had a chance to go to school, now I’m proud that my dreams will come true,” he said.

Area MP Njoroge Wainaina who spoke after issuing a Sh 12 million check to students joining the various technical centres said that the programme aims at reaching more than ten thousand youth in a period of five years who are addicted to alcohol and drug abuse.

“Our students should not be ashamed to join vocational training centres, they give them skills that enable them to compete in both local and international markets and also make them job creators,” he said.

He added that through local administration, they have put measures that will ensure those rehabilitated from the menace enrol in the training centres.

“In the past, we have been rehabilitating those addicted to drugs but after they are through with the process they end up with nothing to do, and later they get back to their old habits, this will be a game changer to youths in Kieni constituency,” he said.

By Macharia Kiarie

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