What you need to know:
- The invitation to students who sat the national examinations in the previous years means more than a million may end up competing to fill the 331,045 spaces declared.
More than half the students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in March and qualified to join Technical and Vocational Education Training Institutions (Tvet) under government sponsorship will miss the opportunity.
A total of 604,021 candidates scored C (plain) and below but the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) says the institutes only declared 331,045 vacancies for new students.
KUCCPS chief executive Mercy Wahome said the authority has opened its portal for applications.
The online application targets students who scored C+ (plus) and above and will close on June 11.
For Tvets, Dr Wahome said the application is open for all students who sat the 2020 KCSE examination.
She added that the application is also open for those who sat the tests in 2019 and previous years all the way to the KCSE class of 2000.
The invitation to students who sat the national examinations in the previous years means more than a million may end up competing to fill the 331,045 spaces declared.
In 2019, the institutions declared 4,829 programmes and 276,163 vacancies.
However, only 88,714 students – some 39,695 males and 49,029 females – applied for the programmes.
Less than 10 students
More than 500,000 students had scored C and below in the examinations.
In the 2018 KCSE examination, a total of 651,189 candidates qualified for placement to tertiary institutions at various levels under government sponsorship but only about 180,000 registered for Tvets.
Annual analytical trends show that only a quarter of the students supposed to join the Tvets applied to join the institutions despite government campaigns to have all Form Four leavers pursue a course.
The government has invested heavily in the drives.
Ironically, nearly half of the Tvet institutions do not attract students, with some having as low as 50.
In the placement last year, some Tvet programmes attracted less than 10 students.
There were also cases of courses failing to attract a single student.
Training institutes which had programmes that attracted less than 10 applicants included Ahmed Shahame Mwidani, Bondo, Bushiangala, Karen Technical Training Institute for the Deaf, Kenya School of Revenue Administration, Koshin, Musakasa and Ziwa.
The low enrolment is despite the government spending hundreds of millions of shillings to construct and equip the institutes across Kenya.
There are 4,450 registered vocational training centres and 11 national polytechnics in the country.
The government has been spending Sh50 million to Sh55 million to build and equip a Tvet institution in every constituency annually for years.
So far, the number of technical training institutes in every constituency has grown from 52 in 2013 to 233.
Of the 233 institutes, some 52 are fully operational, 140 have been built, equipped, staffed and made operational while 41 are still being constructed.
Lack of awareness
Students who scored grade E in the KCSE examination should apply for artisan courses, those with D- will go for craft programmes, grade D and D+ learners will take certificate courses while those who scored C- and C are eligible to apply for diploma programmes, based on the course they want to pursue.
“Regardless of your KCSE examination score, you have a chance to pursue your desired career under government-sponsorship by joining a college of university through KUCCPS,” Dr Wahome said.
While announcing the opening of the placement portal, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha encouraged the students to seek placement in private Tvets, teacher training colleges and the Kenya Medical Training College.
“I assure the candidates that a bright future awaits them. No learner will be left behind,” Prof Magoha said.
“Our technical and Tvet institutions have vacancies for 331,045 students, while public and private universities have 160,160 spaces for government-sponsored students.”
Unlike the case with private universities, the government does not place students in private colleges and Tvets.
Members of the Kenya National Association of Private Colleges have been holding meetings and made a request to the ministry to have KUCCPS send students to the institutions.
“The KUCCPS does not place students in private Tvets despite more than 40 members of our association paying to register with the agency,” Kenya National Association of Private Colleges Secretary-General Ekrah Ndungu told the Sunday Nation.
“Extending the same would leverage on the branding of Tvet courses.”
Private Tvets have also been struggling with numbers as many students shun opportunities to further studies after high school.
Ms Ndungu blamed the situation on lack of awareness.
Many others who join the private Tvets drop out due to lack of fees as the students are not eligible for funding by the Higher Education Loans Board.
Of the 747,161 candidates in the 2020 KCSE examination, some 143,40 scored C+ and above while 604,021 had C and below.
Those with D were 121,942, 117,898 had D+, 109,454 students scored C- while 85,458 had C plain.
A total of 137,361 candidates scored a mean grade of D-.
Of the 1,854 special needs students who sat the examinations, a total of 549 scored D-, 328 had D while 206 scored D+.
The 2020 KCSE test results released by the Kenya National Examinations Council show 15,225 boys and 12,821 girls scored grade E.