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Utalii College needs more support

By Benard Amaya | May 5th 2016

Kenya Utalii College occupies a unique position in hospitality and tourism training. The college is the only institution mandated by law to develop the critical manpower for the tourism sector. Other institutions have joined in the training business to fill the gap in demand for skilled human resource.

For the institution to effectively discharge this mandate, it must have adequate technical capacity. This requires having a holistic view of the entire system ranging from technical human resource, physical infrastructure and the learning resource centre.

On the issue of technical manpower, more so the teaching staff, the college should consider training lecturers in special skills. Such training can be through partnerships with reputed institutions such as Cornell, Surrey and Strathclyde universities.

Besides special training abroad, strengthening the office of director of studies coupled with greatest academic freedom for teaching staff will boost quality of training. Strong offices of director of studies can shield lecturers from harassment.

While Utalii College tutors still enjoy a great degree of academic freedom, the management should do more to enhance the same.

Concerning physical infrastructure, hospitality training being hands-on require state-of-the-art facilities. Training labs and application areas enhance the standards of training. Current facilities have aged and need to be upgraded as well as expanded.

Having a comprehensive training that deepens technical skills is very important. Kenya Utalii College was tailored to give students adequate practical exposure through long duration of training. Reducing the training duration is likely to impact negatively on the competence of college graduates. The institution should review the course duration in the ongoing curriculum review.

All in all, Utalii remains the best hospitality and tourism training institution in Kenya and by extension the region. The State should accord the institution the attention it deserves.

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