Factors influencing access to technical and vocational education and training in Bungoma East Sub-County, Kenya
The study investigated the factors influencing access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Bungoma East sub-county. The study sought to establish the extent to which career opportunities, parental level of income, adequacy of physical facilities and human resources influenced access to the five registered TVET institutions in Bungoma East sub-county. The study was conducted through descriptive survey research design. Data was collected using questionnaires from 120 finalist youth trainees, five youth polytechnic managers and one sub-county youth officer. The youths were selected from a target population of 340 in all the polytechnics under study through the use of cluster sampling technique. Data was analyzed using frequencies presented in tables, percentages, pie-charts and histograms. Qualitative data was incorporated in research findings on the basis of reviewed literature and field experiences. This was shown up subjectively in comments of the researcher. The instruments were piloted in one youth polytechnic and a reliability coefficient of 0.746 as attained and hence accepted as reliable. The major findings of the study were that choice of career opportunities in Youth Polytechnics was majorly influenced by the desire to get employment even though poor infrastructure, inadequate and lack of qualified teachers compromised quality training offered to trainees. Moreover, it was found out that youths lacked information about career choice and advancement besides their long held believe that Youth Polytechnic courses are for the failures in national examinations. The study also found out that 60.3% of the respondents parents were peasant farmers with no meaningful income in addition to having many children due to polygamous set up. In relation to physical facilities, the study found out that Youth Polytechnics had inadequate physical facilities and finally, it was found out that the Youth Polytechnics lacked enough trained and qualified teachers. The study concluded that access to Youth Polytechnics is influenced by the trainees desire to get jobs, poor social-economic background , inadequate physical facilities that impacts negatively on quality training and finally inadequate and low quality training experience among teachers which affects quality graduates. The study recommends for improvement of quality education and training by providing bursary funds to needy students, improvement of infrastructure and provision of adequate and qualified teachers. The study further recommends for study to establish the relevance of VET curriculum in production of competent graduates in VET. Additionally, a similar study with a much wider focus be carried out in the larger Bungoma county and also an independent study focusing on youth perception towards youth polytechnics.