Low numbers drive Sh50 million technical college to brink of closure

The Ndia Technical Institute in Gacharu village in Kirinyaga County. The college only has 50 students. [File, Standard]

Ndia Technical and Vocational Training Institute, constructed at a cost of Sh50 million, risks being closed down due to poor enrollment.

Equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities worth millions of shillings, the institute has only 50 students and 11 staffers.

College Principal Benjamin Muchiri is pleading with parents from the larger Kirinyaga West Sub-county to enroll their children in the institution now that the tuition fee has been subsidised by the government.

The college, which was opened by Deputy President William Ruto in December last year, has various faculties where students can enroll for their desired craft courses, according to Mr Muchiri.

“When I compare other such institutions which opened doors to students same time with ours, their enrollment range between 300-500 students, yet we only have 50,” he said.

Assistant chief

The college principal wondered why parents whose children did not make it to various universities last year were not enrolling them at the institute yet the county has a huge deficit for tradesmen and other specialised workers.

Speaking at Kiangwaci market during the inauguration of Stephen Kiranga as the assistant chief for Gacharu sub-location where the institute is located, Muchiri urged parents not to keep their children at home when the facility was almost empty.

“The government has provided bursaries and HELB loans for any student. Parents should encourage their chidden to take advantage of this,” Muchiri said.

Sub-county Commissioner Moses Ivuto blamed high consumption of illicit liquour by residents for the low enrollment rate.

He directed the newly inaugurated assistant chief to embark on a massive crackdown on the menace and at the same time sensitise residents on the need to enroll their children at the college.

“Very soon, the government is going to roll out the construction of the affordable houses where 3,000 such units will be put up in the county. The project will require masons, plumbers and other cadre of workmen with construction skills. The jobs created will be taken over by outsiders unless the enrollment apathy is done away with,” he said.

The institute was built and completed during the tenure of Stephen Ngari as the MP for Ndia but remained un-operational for two years.

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Ndia Technical and Vocational Training InstituteHELBDeputy President William Ruto