•He said most public universities are producing graduates with papers that do not have value, saying TVETs should stop being examination-oriented.
•Magoha said the obsession with universities should stop and more students should join TVETs where they can equip themselves with necessary market-oriented skills.
Education CS George Magoha has told technical and vocational education institutions to stop being theoretical and focus on producing skilled graduates.
Magoha presided over the 9th graduation ceremony of 3,781 graduates at the Kisumu National Polytechnic on Wednesday.
The CS said theoretical teaching has now been overtaken by events.
He said most public universities are producing graduates with papers that do not have value, saying TVETs should stop being examination-oriented.
“There is no need of graduating with a degree certificate and thereafter tarmacking for year five or even 10 years looking for jobs,” Magoha said.
He said the obsession with universities should stop and more students should join TVETs where they can equip themselves with necessary market-oriented skills.
“There is a shortage of plumbers and electricians. Where I come from, Yala in Gem, I have to look for an electrician 40 kilometres away and pay for his services,” Magoha said.
“Those with required skills do not look for jobs, instead jobs look for them, every job is important and Kenyans should stop the attitude of focusing on white-collar jobs.”
He said TVETs skills are required globally and cited plumbing which are earning people good money.
The CS directed tutors to focus on equipping learners with the needs required for them to be successful.
He urged TVETs management to practice accountability in the implementation of projects to avoid loss of public funds.
Magoha also presided over the ground-breaking of the Textile industry worth Sh394 million.
Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Margaret Mwakima said the government wants National Polytechnics, TVETs and CTCs to churn out the much needed skilled human labour that meets industry requirements and ascribe to international recognition.
The government, Mwakima said, has increased the number of TVET institutions from 52 in 2013 to 238 in 2021 at Sh10.6 billion. Out of the 238 TVET institutions, 192 are operational and 46 are nearing completion.
She said due to the Sh10.3 billion capitation government grants and Sh11.1 billion Helb loans to TVET trainees since 2019, there has been an increase in enrolment from 55,945 in 2013 to 249,316 in 2021.
The PS said a conditional grant of Sh2 billion is given to VTCs every financial year.
Mwakima urged the county governments to prioritise the standards of quality assurance for the VTCs to equip learners with needed skills, now that the fund goes directly to counties.
She said the Ministry of Education is committed to providing both human and capital resources to ensure smooth operations in all TVET institutions.
Apart from equipping institutions, she said that arrangements are in place to recruit 3,000 trainers to address current shortages in all TVET institutions.
She said TVETs graduates enter into the competitive labour market globally, which should be fully exploited.
“I urge all the National Polytechnics to benchmark, collaborate and partner with top institutions in the world. Such collaboration results in internationally recognised programmes that are relevant both locally and internationally,” Mwakima said.
The TVETs, she said, should ensure the courses they offer equip trainees with entrepreneurial skills to establish their businesses on completion.
“This will go a long way in creating employment opportunities for President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda,” Mwakima said.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris