Migori polytechnics attract Standard Eight dropouts

Migori County government has built 10 vocational training centres at a cost of Sh85 million and renovated 11 at a cost of Sh10 million in all the eight sub-counties.

The institutions have employed 98 tutors, some absorbed from the national government.

Michael Okumu Anyal, the principal of Midoti Polytechnic, one of the newly established by the county government in Suna East, says he anticipates an increased intake of up to 300 trainees this year considering the results.

He admits they enroll E, D- and even those who sat for KCPE for what he calls Grade 3 courses.

“The courses include masonry, hairdressing, electrical wiring, mechanical training and the tuition fee is flat rate.

He says the exam fee is what varies as material needed for practicals depend on the course one is taking and that the courses take three years.

John Okech, a tutor at a polytechnic in Nyatike, says they have had a challenge with getting trainees who have done their Form Four as most they got were Class Eight certificate holders.

“Many shy away from joining polytechnics because of the notion that they are training centres for failures, which is not true,” he said.

Some of the newly constructed polytechnics have also not been operational even as enrolment commenced after completion because of low enrolment.

For courses like hairdressing, many prefer going to salons and beauty schools to learn the same, while others prefer private colleges that admit D students as opposed to joining polytechnics.

He however is optimistic of registering a high number of students who sat for KCSE last year but did not make it.

Agnes Akinyi who sat her KCSE at a local school and got an E admits she is willing to join a polytechnic to train as a dressmaker.

The County Director of Education, Lazarus Ogutu, says that he is aware the county solicits for manpower like skilled plumbers and electrical wiring experts from other places, skills that should be readily available in the county.

“That is why we are sensitising the public on the importance of training on some of these courses. We urge the boys that apart from bod boda, they can also join the polytechnics and train as masons who can easily get jobs as many are building every day in the county,” Ogutu said.