Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu’s advice to colleges that provide technical training to enhance specialisation should be taken seriously.
Some of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) colleges have been offering humanities as a means to diversify their revenue streams.
While it makes sense for them to want to boost incomes, they risk diluting their core training. This is unnecessary as there are institutions which students interested in pursuing the humanities can join.
They should focus on their programmes and aim to become centres of excellence in technical training.
It is highly unlikely that a technical college will have adequate capacity to also offer comprehensive training in arts-based subjects.
Also, there will be some discordance among the student population. Specialisation is essential in manpower training as it enables the mobilisation of the very best human and technical resources to offer those courses.
The establishment of Tvet colleges is so that their graduates are the very best the country trains in the technical areas. The reforms in the education system are driven by a commitment to train the manpower the country needs for its development.
The inclusion of Tvet colleges in the higher education student financing is proof of the importance attached to these programmes.
The country needs technical expertise to ease its advancement towards the crucial Digital Age. The colleges should resist the temptation to spread themselves thin by recruiting students for humanities and social science courses.
To expand their revenue sources, the colleges should come up with more innovative technical courses and short-term refresher training.
It is also encouraging that the government is revamping the 124 Tvet institutions with facilities such as digital laboratories to sharpen their skills training.
The linkage between industry and training institutions should be enhanced so that the instruction is tailored to offer the actual needs of the prospective employers. The learners also get focused towards what the industry really needs.