KNA: Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology in Kiambu will be elevated to National polytechnic status as part of the government’s measures to enhance training on technical and vocational skills.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, Ministry of Education, Dr Margaret Mwakima, said that the Ministry is continuing with the process of upgrading the school’s status.
Speaking during the 18th graduation ceremony of the institution, the PS confirmed that plans are underway to upgrade Nine (9) TVET institutions to become National Polytechnics including Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.
“I want to assure the school community that plans are on course to elevate the 49-year-old institution. We have already done the paperwork and things are progressing well, we are hoping that this will happen soon,” the principal said in her address.
Once KIST and the 8 other institutions including the Kenya Technical Teachers College are upgraded, the PS confirmed that the total number of National Polytechnics in Kenya will go up from 13 to 22.
The government holds that TVET institutions will be key in providing the skills and knowledge that will be required as the government steers the country towards its vision 2030 goal of being an industrialized middle-income economy.
According to Mwakima, the Ministry has also committed to training more teachers for the institutions together with upgrading equipment to modern standards.
“We now have approval to recruit 3000 trainers to address the current shortage in TVET institutions, and we have been allowed to begin with 1000 in the next financial year,” she said.
Out of the 3000 trainers to be recruited, she explained that the Ministry will be taking in 2000-degree holders and 1000 diploma holders.
The PS announcement was welcomed by members of the KIST community led by the school’s board chairperson, Dr Josiah Kamau, who urged the Ministry to fast track the process of upgrade.
He thanked the Ministry for the support saying that they had already started seeing progress as more trainers have been posted to the institution to bridge the deficit in staff numbers.
“We thank the government for hiring teachers in most faculties of learning. The school in conjunction with its partners also added 100 more teachers to reduce the workload,” Kamau said.
During the graduation, 1406 students were conferred with certificates and diplomas from various disciplines including baking technology, building and civil engineering, business entrepreneurship and social studies, electrical and electronic engineering, ICT and computer studies and hospitality.