The Kisumu National Polytechnic was privileged to host Principal Secretary in the State department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Dr Kevit Desai who visited the institution and met with leaders and stakeholders to share his plans for the TVET industry.
During the meeting Dr Desai requested industry stakeholders to partner with technical institutions in curriculum development to produce students with skills that would give them the competency necessary to deliver as expected, “when we partner with industry and incorporate their skills demands in the curriculum, it significantly reduces the duration fresh graduates have to adapt to work” Said Desai.
The PS explained that his remarks were a response to concern of industry players on the duration it took TVET graduates to adapt to industry and work independently, “they have to retrain them to use these machines. The gap can be filled by working closely with industry to understand their needs and accommodate these in the curriculum development process,” he said.
Dr Desai’s visit coincided with the National TVET fair for Science, Technology Innovations for Sustainable Developmentand Robotics contest where various qualifying institutions from the regional clusters came together to compete and share skills. Among those that participated were technical institutions from Western, Eastern, Nairobi and Coast. The Kisumu National Polytechnic exhibited its best innovations from the Liberal studies, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments to represent the Western region.
TKNP is among the two TVET institutions that the PS visited in the region to share views together with industry players and get a grassroots view after he recently joined the Ministry. Dr Desai holds a PhD in Robotics Control Systems Engineering from Shibarura Institute of Technology (SIT) Japan.
TKNP Chief Principal Joyce Nyanjom explained that the institution has already engaged industry players and visited them to assess their skill-requirements in order to understand the skills gap, “We have brought on board Equator Bottlers, Kibos Sugar and even Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company and hope to build a strong working relationship in support of the competency based training and in curriculum development”, she said.
Mrs Nyanjom appreciated the PS for choosing TKNP as an institution of excellence to share his views, industry partners for attending the meeting and the council members for their continued support and cooperation in the development of the institution.
In attendance were local industry players, entrepreneurs, the Governing Council and the staff of TKNP. Present at the meeting and representing the industry was Kibos Sugar Factory Managing Director Peeyush Kotia who welcomed the initiative and commended the Ministry and the institutions for the move to develop a competency- based curriculum. “We appreciate the efforts to involve industry in curriculum development, this shall reduce our training costs and improve the absorption rate of the graduates in these courses,” he said.
Dr Desai crowned his tour by touring the institution and visiting the robotics contest where various institutions showcased their mastery in the creation of robots according the year’s theme: Disaster Operation recovery Process. The institutions were to create robots to help in disaster mitigation and management , “ The robots are programmed to handle the rescue mission efficiently by detecting and moving along a path, clearing objects and finally evacuating the casualties,” explained Mr Ochieng Odek, the Robotic Contest Coordinator who is also the Research and Development Coordinator for TKNP.