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Youth take advantage of capitation, flow into TTIs for courses

By Phares Mutembei | Jan 28th 2022 | 2 min read

Principal Kigige Mutembei with some of the 200 students who enrolled at Karumo Technical Training Institute in Meru. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

The youth are enrolling in large numbers for technical courses at institutions in Meru County.

This is after the national government lowered school fees from over Sh90,000 to Sh56,420, out of which it disburses Sh30,000 to the institutions as capitation.

Among institutions that have registered high enrolment include Karumo Technical Training Institute in Tigania West and Meru National Polytechnic in Imenti North.

Karumo Principal Kigige Mutembei said about 2,000 students had enrolled this month, and he expects the number to increase.

“Before Covid-19, we had only 900 students. We had no intake in 2020. To get more students, I sent all my staff on a marketing spree and I have also engaged with local leaders, including chiefs, to reach the youth out there and sensitise them on available opportunities,” said Mr Mutembei.

He said among the new students are young mothers attracted by the financial relief from the government.

"When they get information, I see even young mothers coming to enroll. They are very eager to learn," he said.

Nyaki West community leader Lewis Kithinji said he had mobilised 200 students to join Karumo, adding that many were unaware of the government’s funding.

“The youth come from Kithoka, Chugu, Mulathankari, Munithu and other places in the seven locations of Nyaki West. Getting 200 students to gain technical skills will make a big difference to the community,” said Mr Kithinji, who also runs a mentorship programme for local youth.

Kithinji said the youth, mostly in their 20s and some in 30s, had showed they were ready to go back to school as some had been unable to join universities while others missed opportunities for personal development.

“They can get the diplomas and advance it further. We want an educated group of people who can contribute to the development of this area,” he said.

Akachiu MCA Silas Mucheke has also been busy sensitising the youth in the area about opportunities in TTIs.

He said he has managed to enroll tens of youth to various institutions, including Meru National Polytechnic (39), Karumo (89), Maua (24), Kianjai (13), Nkabune (7) and Mukiria (38).

Eric Mutembei, 30, from Nyaki West, said he had been eking out a living as a boda boda operator but has decided to join Karumo to improve his life.

“I want to go do plumbing because I have always been passionate about it,” he said.

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