Major TVETs shake-up as 50 principals moved
By Augustine Oduor | September 16th 2020
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has moved more than 50 college principals in a massive shake-up meant to revamp technical institutions.
It emerged that most of the principals have been transferred over poor resource management and the inability to innovate and mentor other institutions under them.
Issues of prudent financial management and constant run-ins with institutions’ boards have also necessitated transfers for some of the college heads.
Others have been moved to revamp sleeping giants with potential for growth but have not registered substantive development due to poor leadership.
The principal of Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Dr Edwin Tarno, has been moved to head Kenya Technical Training College in Nairobi.
Sammy Waititu, who was the principal of PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute, has been moved to head Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.
John Odhiambo, who was the principal of Siaya Institute of Technology, will now head Kabete National Polytechnic.
Catherine Kelonye, who was the Sigalagala National Polytechnic principal, will now head Kisumu National Polytechnic, as Evans Omwenga Bosire who was the principal of Keroka Technical Training Institute moves to Sigalagala.
Mary Mwende, who was the head of Kenya Coast National Polytechnic, moves to lead Wote TTI.
Anne Mbogo, who was the head of Kiirua TTI, now moves to Kenya Coast National Polytechnic as principal.
Sources familiar with the details revealed that some of the principals are resisting the transfers, with some seeking political interventions to retain their stations.
State Department of Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) Principal Secretary Julius Jwan yesterday said the transfers are normal government deployments.
“This is a normal government practice and should be viewed in terms of government delivery,” said Jwan.
He said some of the principals who were deployed from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) have been slow to shape training to match national goals.
“We are focusing in transformative TVET leadership because they are production units in areas of their specialisation. We want training that is embedded in production to also help improve the income generation of the colleges,” Jwan said.
The PS said the success of the Competency Based Curriculum depends on a well-structured TVET because more than 60 per cent of the learners will be enrolled in these institutions with the right attitude and perception.
Jwan said proper leadership of TVETs is critical as it has a ripple effect on job creation and tapping of available opportunities.
Research findings by the World Bank in 2018 states that 70 per cent of the future jobs will require technical skills as opposed to academic skills.
The PS said the ministry has recognised TVETs as the most practical avenue for acquiring readily employable skills for the youth.
“We need highly skilled technical personnel to drive the agenda of transforming their economies through value-addition to their primary commodities and natural resources,” said Jwan.
He said well-functioning TVET systems are best placed to train the skilled workforce, which Africa needs to address its socio-economic development challenges.
Despite the government’s effort to scale up the uptake of technical courses at TVET institutes among the youth, it is still low, owing to the low attitude of youth joining this pathway as an avenue to job creation, self-employment and acquisition of skills.
“The blue print we are working on will define TVET as a proper pathway with the role of each player defined,” said Jwan.
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