Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Minister wants more middle-level technical colleges built

PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | FILE President Mwai Kibaki (centre), Higher Education Minister Prof Margaret Kamar (left) and Prof Sarone ole Sena, Council Chairman of University of Eldoret follow proceedings during the granting of charter to the institution on February 11, 2013.

PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | FILE President Mwai Kibaki (centre), Higher Education Minister Prof Margaret Kamar (left) and Prof Sarone ole Sena, Council Chairman of University of Eldoret follow proceedings during the granting of charter to the institution on February 11, 2013. Prof Kamar has called for the government to put up more technical colleges to train students who fail to join universities.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

The government has been asked to put up more technical colleges to train students who fail to join universities.

Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar, who made the call, said the ongoing upgrading of middle-level colleges into universities should not sound the death knell to technical, vocational, education and training institutions.

She said the government should invest more in the institutions to enable them take in more students by 2015, when students who benefited from the free education are expected to complete secondary education.

Even though the ongoing upgrade of colleges into universities can double their intake, she said, many students would still be locked out.

“The solution lies in expanding technical institutions to accommodate the increasing number of students who require higher education rather than condemning them as failures as early as after the results of primary education are released,” Prof Kamar said.

She was speaking at University of Eldoret on Monday during its elevation to a full-fledged university after operating as a constituent college of Moi University for three years.

Currently, only 10 per cent of KCSE candidates qualify to join universities and hundreds of thousands fail to acquire higher education every year.

The minister said they had embarked on reforms to fast-track transition from secondary schools to universities.

“We want those who qualify for university to join as early as September of the following year,” she said.

She also challenged local universities to focus on relevant academic programmes and invest more in skilled labour to boost quality.

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