Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology will be upgraded to a national polytechnic before end of the year.
During the ground breaking ceremony of a new boarding facility and Industrial Mechatronics workshop at the institute, Education cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu confirmed that plans are underway to upgrade the KIST to a national polytechnic.
“My first major assignment is to make sure that KIST becomes a national technical training polytechnic before the year ends,” he said.
This initiative is part of a program that encompasses seven institutions in the country dubbed, Promotion of youth employment and vocational training in Kenya program that seeks to establish centers of excellence and contribute towards quality, relevant education and training.
According to the CS, the initiative will be extended to other areas across the country, which do not have access to TVET institutions, as well as other facilities which the government has pledged to establish over the next few years
“The workshops, classrooms and dormitories to be constructed starting today will contribute to increased access, inclusivity and equity for students from all over the country including those with special needs to meet the standards of a national polytechnic,” he said
The program which is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany has already received funding of about Sh4.1 billion for its phase two initiative, which will benefit many youths across the Country.
“Our assurance to our development partners is that, the government will ensure prudent utilization of all resources provided to establish the seven Centers of Excellence for dual technical, vocational education and training in selected course areas, with KIST being one them,” said Machogu
The CS further cited that the government has allocated Sh1.8 billion in the current financial year for construction and equipping of Technical Training Institutes and Vocational Training Centers, saying these are cardinal to the production of the critical human resource capacity for the economic transformation
“Further, the government has set aside Sh1.1 billion to increase access and improve the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs, Sh527 million for Technical, Vocational Education Training and Entrepreneurship and Sh971 million for promotion of Youth Employment and Vocational Training,” the CS added.
KIST Principal Sammy Waititu lauded the government and the Germany Cooperation for the initiative, which was to be launched in 2020, but stalled due to financial and land hiccups
“We have been looking forward to the launch of this project since 2020. We are happy it’s here now and we will be elevated to a national polytechnic. I am also aware that the German Government is supporting other initiative through Wings to Fly programme which targets both basic and tertiary learners, through which needy learners are reached and enabled to access education,” said the principal.