Youth from Kisumu County have been urged to enroll in polytechnic, technical and vocational training centers to acquire skills that are relevant for the current job market.
The County CECM for Education ICT and Human Capacity Development Mr John Awiti issued the clarion call during a youth engagement forum.
Mr Awiti noted that many young people were unemployed because of pursuing courses at the universities or colleges that were not compatible with the current job market.
He noted that the national government in collaboration with the counties have performed exemplary in the provision for education and training to the youth.
“The youthful age is critical. You need to play your cards well to get it right in life failure to which you may face challenges in future,” opined the CEC.
According to Awiti, a career educationist who served as principal of various secondary schools including St. Mary’s School, Yala, the education system has transformed tremendously and the job demand is geared towards technical skills gained from polytechnic and technical training.
The youth were advised to get proper advice on courses relevant to the job market before joining college.
Candidates from the county and beyond who did not qualify for university in the recent Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) results can join the Kisumu National Polytechnic, Ramogi Technical Training Institute and the upcoming Nyando Technical Training Institute.
In addition, there are 26 Vocational Training Centers (VTC) spread across the wards in Kisumu County.
County Director for Technical, Vocational Education and Training Mrs Paschalia Ouma said the vocational colleges in Kisumu have a capacity of 6,000 students but the current enrollment is 3,200 students.
Mrs Ouma said the village polytechnics enroll anyone who can read and write irrespective of their level of education and offers practical courses like Food Processing Technology, Building Technology and Masonry among many others.
“I urge youth from Kisumu County and other neighboring counties to visit any VTC and register for the available courses. The skills you will obtain from these centers will help you for a lifetime,” she said, adding that majority have formed an attitude towards VTC’s since they are set up in the remote areas of the villages, a culture she said should be admonished.
VTC students receive a total of sh30,000 each bursary from the national and county governments which is enough for annual fees.
Some VTC’s in the county have boarding facilities to accommodate students who hail from other counties.
The County official revealed that Covid 19 pandemic also negatively affected the vocational education sector.
The prolonged closure of the institutions has resulted in a high number of dropouts from the colleges. “Some female students got married while the male counterparts went into fishing and Boda Boda riding in the village,” said Mrs Ouma.