By Joe Kiarie
Ongoing police reforms are set to receive a major boost after five training schools were given the go-ahead to offer diplomas courses to serving officers.
In a gazette notice, Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar last Friday authorised the diploma courses that could help police officers acquire critical knowledge and improve professionalism.
The new training curriculum is part of the multi-billion shillings initiative by the Police Reforms Implementation Committee targeting to improve service delivery to the public by police.
The five police training colleges that will examine and award the diplomas include Kenya Police Service Training College-Kiganjo, the General Service Unit Training School-Embakasi, the Administration Police Training College-Utawala, the Administration Police Senior Staff College-Emali and the CID Training School-Nairobi.
The training schools will offer higher diploma and diploma courses to serving officers as well as civilian graduates who have been successfully enrolled into the force through recruitment programmes.
Officers wishing to secure promotion or boost their academic qualifications have been seeking extra training in public and private tertiary institutions outside the force at their own cost. But through Police headquarters, the Kenya Police College recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenyatta University on training of security officers.
The areas of collaboration include criminology, education, strategic planning, training needs assessment, ICT, music and medical (nursing, emergency training) among others.
The deal came hot on the heels of the unveiling of a new police-training curriculum meant to ensure police are adequately trained on areas such as human rights, gender, public relations and communications, values and ethics, service and customer focus among other specialised policing skills.
On the Police website, Peter Kavila, the commandant of the Kenya Police College, Kiganjo outlines challenges the force faces in training such as lack of external training of instructors, inadequate funding, inadequate range facilities, classrooms and accommodation for trainees as well as lack of information communication technology infrastructure and linkage with other police institutions.