In Kenya, most class eight and form four graduates who do not qualify for direct entry into universities battle with the societal stereotype that brands them as failures in life.
Some learners end up suffering from depression, while others commit suicide because they lack someone to guide them or give them assurance.
Most of them who score lower marks, even though they had higher expectations are usually on the peripheries battling with their “failures” or imagined possibilities.
However, this is a different case in Ugenya sub-county, Siaya county, in the Nyanza region.
Through door-to-door outreach, seminars, workshops, and community educational fairs, such categories of learners are guided and counseled into various career choices.
Education has played a key role in the transformational agenda to hasten the full realization of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in line with vision 2030.
Through the Ministry of Education, the Kenyan government insists on a 100 percent transition of learners from primary to secondary schools.
Most learning institutions, parents and stakeholders are equally keen on implementing educational initiatives.
The government, NGOs, and private enterprises have made it their sole responsibility to make life possible for every individual who is enabled at their different levels of abilities to access education and training, ultimately leading to the creation of jobs and employment.
The seminar shed light on various possible career opportunities and the learning institutions or organizations through which such courses are offered.
Qualifications, funding, institution location, and course relevance were also highlighted.
“We organize such educational fairs to sensitize young people of the numerous opportunities out here. We understand of how so many young people would love to advance in their lives, but in some cases, they have not been exposed to the right information; this forms the backbone of us coming up with such educational exposition,” explained Alexander Odhiambo, Lake Region Journalism Clubs Association Coordinator.
The Lake Region Journalism Clubs Association, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, organized an educational exposition held in Siaya county, a function that attracted several class 8 graduates and form four leavers.
Odhiambo, the clubs’ coordinator and also a freelance journalist, led the event.
Seasoned to champion flexible, readily available, and relevant educational skills, vocational training, creativity, innovation, academic competencies, and self-reliance, Ugunja Technical and Vocational Training College; Siaya Institute of Technology and Vocational Education Training College; Tangala Smart Computers Solutions; and Bleeding Ink Global Writers Society, are among the schools and organization that led the fair.
The essence of computer literacy
One of the basic skills in the 21st century is computer literacy.
Most universities and colleges have advanced to employ computer-based programs to administer courses and examinations.
In the same light, most form four leavers and class eight graduates are highly appetized to season their academic knowledge with these essential skills and competencies.
“Computer skills are essential even as you aim to join college and higher learning institutions. It was once treated as an added advantage to doing various courses and employment opportunities.
Currently, with the advancement of technology nationally and globally, this skill has become a requirement,” affirmed Patrick Opondo, Director, Tangala Smart Computers Solutions.
Ugunja Technical and Vocational College
Ugunja Technical and Vocational Training College is a new public institution managed by the National Government through the Ministry of Education, State Department of Vocational and Technical Training.
It is one of the seventy Technical and Vocational Colleges (TVCs) established by the government in partnership with the National Government Constituency Development Fund Ugunja in 2020 to meet the demands of rapid technological advancement in the TVET subsector and global market trends.
The college is marked as a center of excellence in Mechanical Engineering and is also highly equipped.
In addition, the college proposes offering other competency-based technical and business courses that will significantly contribute to achieving SDGs and the Big Four Agenda of Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing, and Universal Health Care.
The ultimate goal of UJTVC is to admit and train graduates who can competently and meticulously take up every opportunity.
The institution is commissioned to produce transformative graduates with adaptive and innovative skills to face lifetime global challenges. It aims to be a trendsetter in providing transformative training, research, and innovation.
Siaya Institute of Technology
In Kenya, TVET institutions offer students various certificates, diplomas and craftsmanship training.
“The beauty of our TVET institution is that it offers flexible entry into a career and fee requirements to students wishing to study in these institutes. We are friendly in listening to students needs and advising them into career choices,” said Daniel Opany, Registrar of Admissions, Siaya Institute of Technology.
TVETs are registered, accredited and regulated by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), which is a public, corporate agency established under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Act No. 29 of 2013 to regulate and coordinate training in the country through licensing, registration and accreditation of programs, institutions and trainers.
“We have come to show you the infinite possibilities, all the career opportunities you can explore and your inbuilt abilities, and guide you into career choice,” said Mr. Nyalwal Jackim, Trainer Computing and Informatics Department, Siaya Institute of Technology.
He is also the Peer Educators Club Coordinator, Siaya.
Section 7 of the 2013 Act gives the powers and functions of the Authority to regulate and coordinate training; inspect, license and register and accredit training institutions; accredit and inspect programs and courses; promote access and relevance of training programs; determine the national technical and vocational training objectives; and assure quality and relevance in programs of training, among other functions.
Placement in TVETs
To get placed at a TVET institution, one has to apply via the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
The available programs, institutions, minimum entry requirements, and application procedure are always available on the KUCCPS Student’s Portal, accessible through the Placement Service website www.kuccps.ac.ke.
KUCCPS sets an application window within which prospective students can submit their applications.
The Entry requirement for all Diploma Courses is a C- and above; D (plain) and above for Certificates while other course categories are open.
“The procedure is very simple, can be done flexibly through our website and when we go for these outreaches, we are always available and reliable to help learners who may have difficulties with the application process,” added Opany.
“We don’t grade your potentials; in the same way, we will not grade you as ‘failed’ or ‘passed’. we say you have achieved at your own level of capability. That way, we give all learners equal chances to pursue the future career choices gradually. However, there are guidelines set by the college’s board to outline proper admissions process, but that is not to worry you,” he explained.
Applying for TVET Bursaries HELB funding
Students pursuing Diploma and Certificate courses in Public universities, university colleges, public national polytechnics and Institutes of Technology and Technical Training institutes country-wide are eligible for this loan and bursary from HELB.
Orphans, single parent students and others who come from poor backgrounds will be given priority for the loans and or bursaries.
“The good news for you students joining TVETs is that you can now apply for funding from the Higher Education Loans Board, HELB. You can now get Loans and Bursaries from HELB for your fees payment and upkeep…Never be worried about financing your education because the government got you covered,” Opany affirmed.
Required documents to secure a loan
Applicants should access and fill the relevant TVET Loan & Bursary Application Form (TLAF) at the HELB website. Print TWO copies of the duly filled Loan Application Form.
Have the TVET Loan Application Form signed and stamped by the Dean of Students/Financial Aid Officers.
Retain one copy of the duly filled TLAF (Mandatory).
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Drop the TLAF personally at the HELB students Service Centre on the Mezannine One, Anniversary Towers or any of the SELECT Huduma Centers nearest you.