President Ruto leads celebrations as Kenya’s TVETs mark 100th anniversary

President Ruto follows a demonstration by a student during the cerebrations of 100 years of TVETs in Kenya at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Students from various technical training institutes across Kenya gathered at the Nyeri National Polytechnic (NNP) to celebrate the 100 years of existence of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) in the country.

The event witnessed an overwhelming turnout of both public and private TVETs and a host of non-state actors.

The main aim of the celebrations was to reflect on 100 years of TVETs in the country since 1924, take stock of the milestones achieved, and explore concrete approaches to position it to respond to the labour market and societal needs.

The celebrations kicked off with the launching of the TVET Flame by President William Ruto, which signified the spirit of innovation and creativity among TVET students.

Centenary Flame is a manifestation of the positive values associated with the symbolism of fire in arousing or inspiring an emotional feeling and thus makes the link between the ancient and the modern TVET@100 years.

President William Ruto jokes with a student during the cerebrations of 100 years of TVETs in Kenya at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

The Flame will be carried for four months through all the 47 counties to the host institution – The Kabete National Polytechnic.

The mode of transport will be mainly on foot by runners (TVET trainees & practitioners), and a combination of other forms of transport.

During the Centenary Flame relay, the flame will be announcing the rebranded TVET to spread themessage of hope and a decent livelihood through vocational training institutions.

During the event at the NNP, there was a beehive of activity at the exhibition centres as students exhibited their skills in various competitions.

During the skills competitions and exhibitions, TVETs showcased their industry and labour market preparedness, research and development initiatives.

President Ruto appreciates one of the exhibitors at his building and construction site.

Moses Mugurwe, a third year student at NNP, who was competing in a stitching competition of skirts, said that  the event has provided an opportunity for students from different technical colleges to interact and exchange ideas.

“The competition not only showcased the talents and craftsmanship of the students but also emphasized the importance of practical skills in technical education. Participants demonstrated their sewing prowess and innovative approaches to skirt stitching, impressing both judges and spectators,” he said.

President Ruto said that this financial year, the government has allocated Ksh28.3 billion to TVETs and will keep raising the allocation in the future until the State achieves an optimal level of investment.

“The funding of Ksh13 billion was approved today. We are in the process of equipping 70 TVETs with  state-of-the art equipment to boost learning,” he said.


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The president added that the recruitment of 2,000 TVETs tutors is underway, with a view to bringing the total number of tutors hired under the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) to 4,000.

“By 2022, fifty two constituencies did not have TVETs. We pledged to ensure that every constituency has at least one fully-equipped TVET within 2 years of assuming office. As we celebrate 100 years of TVETs in Kenya, I am delighted to confirm that we are delivering on this pledge in full. We have 24 national polytechnics across the country, 13 of which were recently upgraded, and 272 technical and vocational colleges, with 16 scheduled to be completed in the 2024/2025 Financial Year,” he said.

He added that with the 113 Jitume centres across the country, the youth have the opportunity to access decent employment where they can work for employers anywhere in the world without leaving their homes.

“In total, 10,780 digital devices have been installed in these centres, and 370 tutors from various TVET centres have been trained to support the Jitume programme,” he added.

President Ruto urged the youth to utilize the opportunities offered by his administration to transform the country’s economy.

“I want to tell TVET students of this country that, in the ecosystem of the plan that we are putting together as a government, there are opportunities from every sector of our plan for them to play their rightful role in driving the economy of our country. Those opportunities are spread both locally and internationally,” he said.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said his ministry is focussed on ensuring that the majority of youth in the country get competency skills to fit in the industry market.

A student showcases his sewing skills as part of the competitions to mark the centenary celebrations.

“We have linked our institutions with industries to allow industry-led learning programmes through the dual training approach. TVET Authority offers the majority of Kenyans a chance to upgrade their skills,” Machogu said.

Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutions (KATTI) National Governing Council Chairman David Mwangi said the Flame will afterwards be relayed to all TVETs in the country for four months.

Mwangi said a group of athletes will traverse the 47 counties with the torch and finalize the race on July 31, 2024 at Kabete National Polytechnic where the main centenary celebrations will be graced by President Ruto.

The celebrations will culminate in a three-day national conference at the Kabete National Polytechnic.

By Macharia Kiarie

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