The relevance of vocational and technical education to Kenya's quest for industrialization (vision 2030): the views of students and policy makers
Mwangani, Seth L
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This study aimed at evaluating student opinions and views with regard to the status of technical education and training in Kenya for the achievement of industrial needs. The study was motivated by the emerging need for Kenya to achieve a new economic status through the achievement of vision 2030. This adopted descriptive research design; the, study also adopted purposive sampling design for 50 technical students and 50 secondary school students' respondents. The questionnaire with structured opened and closed questions was key data collection instrument from students' respondents of both technical and secondary institution. In depth interview was conducted with study key informants who included 5 education officers and 5 technical institute managers. Data was analysed by use of SPSS. The study results revealed that the technical policy and education policy in Kenya has not had a comprehensive review in accordance with the changing environment. Furthermore the study established that there is little or no coordination in policy formulation. It emerged from the findings that the views of other stakeholders like the investors and industrialists and even students have not been taken into consideration these policies formulation. Findings shown that preparation for implementation of policy in vocational and technical institution was poor as confirmed by interview discussions, that observed that the workshops in most schools had been converted into classrooms to accommodate the increased number of students due to free secondary school education programme. The respondents of technical colleges alleged that though attachment was provided for in the curriculum, many of them students hardly got a chance. The study also revealed that students who hand chance to attend to these attachment were assigned duties that did not relate to their area of specialization. Data from the study revealed that students generally had high regard for technical education. Most of the students interviewed agreed that technical education will playa major role in realization of vision 2030 but their attitudes have been negatively affected by the lack of focus and incentives on the part of the government to make technical education interesting. It emerged from the study that most students preferred to get employment in public sector rather than self employment. This was attributed to lack of capital to establish self-enterprises and also lack of technical know-how to adaptation of new technology. It has to be noted that this is quite in contrast with the overall policy of TIVET as articulated in the sessional paper No.1 2005, which state that overall policy of TIVET is to provide and promote life-long education and training for self-reliance. The study concluded that the technical education policy in Kenya, despite being in place, has not had a review to make it more relevant to current needs. The views of students who are the recipients of the policy curriculum have not been part of policy formulation and little cooperation between the technical colleges and the enterprises is lacking. The study has also confirmed that many technical students do agree that technical education has a major role to play in realisation of vision 2030 but their attitudes have been negatively affected by the lack of focus and incentives on the part of the government to make technical education interesting.