The government has acquired land in Taveta Sub-county to build a training college for primary school teachers.
Ministry of Education officials said they have identified more than 10 acres to put up the training institution in the region, where local leaders have previously raised concern over marginalization and a gap in affirmative action in the recruitment of teachers.
Yesterday, the County Director of Education, Simon Wanjohi, said they had already identified the location to implement the project.
“We have been allocated the land and we have a title deed to establish the primary school teacher training college. The county education board will visit Taveta Sub-county to inspect the plot and thereafter convene an education stakeholders meeting to ratify the project. The process is going on,” the education officer told a meeting in Mwatate town yesterday.
The region has a shortfall of more than 440 primary and secondary school teachers. The shortage, according to stakeholders, had been occasioned by retirement, natural attrition, allocation of few slots for recruitment and transfers without replacement.
St Mary’s teacher’s private training college, which is owned by the Catholic Church, is the only primary school training college in the region.
Implementation of the new project will bring to five the number of public training institutions in the region. Others include Taita Taveta University, the Coast Institute of Technology (CIT), and Voi and Taveta Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTCs).
Meanwhile, Coast Institute of Technology (CIT) will soon be converted to a national polytechnic. The technical training institute, which has positioned itself for attainment of Kenya's Vision 2030 goals to provide quality education, is among eight institutions in the county identified for upgrading next year.
CIT Deputy Principal, Gloria Wawuda, and board member Prof Julius Mwabora, told members of the Taita-Taveta county assembly (MCAs) recently that the institute has already been inspected by a team from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) authorities.
Wawuda and Prof Mwabora, who is also a lecturer in the department of Physics at the University of Nairobi, were briefing the MCAs on the changing status of the institute, their views on the upgrading of the institute and change of name.
Five names have been proposed to the upgraded institution, among them Taita-Taveta National Polytechnic, Tsavo National Polytechnic, Voi National Polytechnic, Dawida-Tuweta National Polytechnic and Eliud Timothy Mwamunga National Polytechnic.
The late Mwamunga, a former Voi legislator and Cabinet Minister, donated 42-acres to put up the institution in 1981.
MCAs endorsed the proposal to have the institute elevated into a national status. Wawuda noted that once elevated, the institution will be autonomous and have its own course curriculum.
“We will soon launch a driving school in the institution to meet the high demand for drivers. We are also encouraging girls to study engineering courses,” Wawuda added.