Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has ordered the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to place more than 500,000 students who sat their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination last year in technical institutions with immediate effect.
This is after the students snubbed the colleges in the first placement conducted this month, with only 28,866 students applying to join the colleges.
“This will ensure that the youth are provided with the necessary skills and competences required for gainful employment and in line with the government’s ‘Big Four’ development agenda,” Ms Mohamed said in a statement.
KUCCPS is also required to place 5,747 students who scored C+ and above in universities.
Of these, 2,128 did not apply while 3,619 applied but could not secure placement.
That school-leavers are snubbing technical and vocational training institutions is posing a challenge to the government, which has invested heavily in the institutions.
The government plans to have at least one technical training institute in each of the 290 constituencies.
The 222,737 students who scored grades between D and D+ in KCSE could enrol in vocational training centres for certificate courses. But only 5,324 students were placed.
Ms Mohamed said the government is paying particular attention to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) sub-sector because it has already developed a national qualification framework, which spells out clear Tvet pathways for all learners who do not qualify to join university directly.
“The ministry has asked the placement board to develop criteria for placing into degree courses applicants with diploma qualifications.
"This will actualise the alternative Tvet pathway to university education. These efforts will contribute to the national goal of producing adequate skilled labour to spur industrial growth envisioned in Vision 2030 and the ‘Big Four’ agenda,” Ms Mohamed said.