TKNP HOSTS CANADIAN PARTNERSHIP ORIENTATION PROGRAM

TKNP HOSTS CANADIAN PARTNERSHIP ORIENTATION PROGRAM

The Kisumu National Polytechnic hosted the Western cluster of Kenya national polytechnics and their Canadian counterparts during an orientation seminar that commenced the institutional partnership on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

The Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP), Ministry of Education and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) organized the event. Through the program, KEFEP will support partnerships with ten Kenyan institutions to design and deliver modularized, gender-sensitive, competency-based programs in the energy and agricultural sectors.

TKNP-Canadian-Partnership-Participants
TKNP Canadian Partnership Participants

In attendance were leaders of various institutions led by KEFEP representatives Moritz Shmidt (Senior Technical Advisor/CICan representative), Catherine Paquin (Senior Program Officer), Mr Athanus Mokaya, Chief Principal at Kisii National Polytechnic, Ms Emily Maina, Deputy Director, Ministry of Education and Kisumu National Polytechnic Principal Mrs Joyce Nyanjom who was host.

TKNP-Canadian-Partnership-Principal-Nyanjom
Principal Nyanjom and Senior Program Manager Catherine Paquin at the KEFEP Partnership Orientation

The program is structured to build capacity of Kenya’s technical and vocational training institutions and agencies to aid employment and job creation for graduates. In line with the Ministry of Education priority of providing education guided by the principles of access, equity, equality and relevance, the Kenyan government through the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training shall work closely with partner institutions, members of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and ten local technical colleges, to deliver the objectives.

Canadian Partners follow in on the presentations
Canadian Partners follow in on the presentations

The KEFEP program involves a three-year partnership to be implemented between September 2017 and August 2020 to result in the training and graduation of 1200 female and male students from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses in the energy and agricultural sectors.

Mr. Okumu, Deputy Principal Administration at the KEFEP Partnership Orientation
Experts from Kenya and Canada follow the presentations

Kenyan institutional partners including representatives from the Ministry of Education, TVET Authority, Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) developed the institutional partnerships before selecting the Canadian partners based on a competitive procedure to ensure that they will meet the terms of reference and expectations of the project.

In Kenya, the TVET Act of 2013 created national polytechnics thus necessitating a widening of mandate. Subsequently, in 2014 the Cabinet Secretary for Science and Technology promulgated the Kisumu National Polytechnic (TKNP) Order which contained and outlined this wider mandate. TKNP forms part of the W  estern cluster of polytechnics that also includes Kisii and Sigalagala National Polytechnics. The Canadian college partners include Humber College which is the lead partner, Durham College, Victoria Island University and Selkirk College.

Each polytechnic will have a direct partnership with a Canadian institution on specific areas that to be identified in collaboration with industry and local communities then implemented according to the work plan. The local institutions will also benefit from Canadian funding for applied research projects, equipment and support through trainings and consultancies.

KEFEP Senior Technical Advisor Moritz Shmidt plants a tree after the workshop

To maximize the project impact for remote populations, the partners will have mentorship programs with the smaller vocational training institutions such as the Youth Polytechnics. The mentees and institutional staff shall also benefit from trainings, hence spreading the trickle-down effect.

The partnership drawing from the expertise of both the Canadian and Kenyan colleges and institutes allows an exchange of knowledge on a wide range of institutional practices, policies and procedures and provides the foundation for developing and implementing the new CBET programs.

Group photo of the participants after the KEFEP Partnership Orientation workshop.

The team will soon conclude a work plan to guide its schedule and kick-start the actual training. At the end of the project period in August 2020, it is projected that the ultimate outcome will be increased economic opportunities for graduates from TVET institutions in Kenya and for the Kisumu National Polytechnic as well.


POLY HOLDS ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Business department of Kisumu National Polytechnic beat other sections in the just concluded interdepartmental athletics competitions held at the institution’s Grounds on March 4, 2017.

The one-day event also acted as trials to identify athletes who will represent TKNP at the regional athletics championships. Officials from the Athletics Kenya officiated over the trials. “Our presence here ensures that we guide and help in the selection of a formidable team to compete at the regional competition,” an AK official who requested anonymity added.

The track events included the 100m, 200m, 400m sprints, the 4×100 and 4×400 relay races for both men and women. Middle distance races included 800m, 1500m and 3000m. Men also had the 10,000m race. Other field events included Short Put, Discus, High Jump, and Long jump, Triple Jump, the Hammer and Javelin.

Chants from cheering spectators rent the air as countless referee whistles screeched from every corner of the sports pitches. The Business department scooped 167 points followed closely by Building and Civil Engineering department that had 164 points. In third and fourth positions were the Food and Beverage department with 96 points and Mechanical Engineering with 86 points. Applied Sciences followed at position 5 with 69 point and Automotive Engineering was in position 6 with 67 points. Electrical Engineering, Liberal Studies, Maths and Entrepreneurship departments had 57, 37, 28 and 10 points respectively.

In the women’s classification for departments, Food and Beverage took the cake with 81 points followed by Business department at 74 and Building and Civil Engineering at 64 points. Applied Science women came in fourth with 51 points while Mechanical department garnered 30 points. In the gents’ classification for departments Building and Civil Engineering took the overall position with 100 points followed by Business Studies with 93 points and Automotive Engineering in position 3 with 67 points.

Some of the students who made it to the team included Consolata Doreen, Anne Okwama and Jackline and Peterson Muganda, Kiprono Victor and Douglas Masinde in the 100m women and men races. “We cannot conclusively say that we have a complete team, we still have to commence rigorous training before we can form a team. This competition has been very helpful in identifying the individuals to enlist for training … We shall embark on a rigorous training after today’s event and use the kitty provided to us by our dear Principal to provide nourishment and motivation to our athletes,”  said Mr Ongwacho, who heads the Sports Department.

Sports and especially athletics pays, and those with such talents should take advantage of the support system we have at the polytechnic in terms of coaches and a good field track to nurture their talents. I want to assure you that I will always support you, said KNP Principal Mrs Joyce Nyanjom.

Elated members of staff took to the track to display their prowess and did not fall short of the spectators’ expectations in the 100m race that drew the curtain for the day.


TKNP HOLDS 4TH ANNUAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION CONFERENCE

The Kisumu National Polytechnic held its fourth annual science convention on March 3 to 4 with Prof Erick Okoth Ogur, the Director for Engineering, Innovation and Production at the Technical University of Kenya officiating over the occasion.

In his Keynote address Prof Ogur lauded conference participants for their expertise, “This is a great display of skill that you can upscale to make a significant impact. I congratulate you for continued commitment and enthusiasm in ensuring the production of technical manpower, which is the engine of national development”, he said.

The theme for the conference was ‘The TVET perspective’, which required participants to place emphasis on technological improvements or inventions that bring out the importance of technical learning. On display were devices and innovations covering daily life that ranged from mobile learning innovations, academic attendance tracking and management system to a hyacinth-harvesting machine.

“Our lecturers and students have been dedicated in their quest to complete these innovations, some of which are ready to be deployed to the market … We appreciate that Science and Technology is a major platform for the development of the three pillars of vision 2030”, said  TNKP Principal Mrs Joyce Nyanjom. Ms Nyanjom observed that the hyacinth harvester that the Automotive Engineering department developed could harvest the stubborn weed from Lake Victoria and avail it to the hospitality department that uses it as a raw material in making sofa sets, beds, utility baskets and bags among many other products.

The exhibition ran concurrently with presentations at the Electrical Engineering department building with Research Coordinator Mr Ochieng Odek organizing the proceedings. During the presentations, experts interrogated the inventions and provided insights and suggestions for improvement to make them more practical and relevant to industry. The panel included Prof Ogur, Engineer Peter Olaka TKNP Governing Council Chairman, a representative from the Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification (CDACC) and The County Technical and Vocational Training (CTVET) Director among others.

The Electrical Engineering department’s Android based Intelligent Accident Detection with Ambulance Rescue Call-Up System seeks to curb road fatalities. The system software uses a Smartphone’s internal hardware such as the accelerometer, vibration sensors and GPS to detect an accident. “In case an accident is detected, the system logs GPS coordinates of the scene and sends an SMS to pre-configured contacts such as emergency services and the traffic police” explained Mr Evans Onyango, a lecturer at the department.

Another innovative project was the Micro-controller embedded power theft Identification system developed to identify power pilfering. “This will also help reduce deaths due to electrocution as a result of unsophisticated illegal connections and meter tampering or bypassing  …”, added Mr Godfrey Oyugi, a lecturer at the Electrical and Electronics department.

The entrepreneurship department also displayed a business incubation model to help innovators understand how to turn their creations into viable business enterprises. “This model helps one know how to establish a thriving business through a step by step process from idea conception, business and financial training as well as business financing to profit making strategies,” explained Entrepreneurship department head Mr Oballah.

Professor Charles Ondieki encouraged the innovators to register the innovations as they wait patenting to safeguard them from copyright theft. ”I understand that it takes a long time to patent your innovations but we must appreciate that it is also very risky not to register them. Today anyone can improve on your innovations and get copyright over them thus denying you, the true innovators, your royalties”.

The conference precedes a regional conference for TVET institutions at Kaimosi Technical Institute later in the month.


TKNP LEADERS UNDERGO MANAGEMENT TRAINING

The Kisumu National Polytechnic (TKNP) conducted a two-day leadership seminar for its staff and student leaders at the Hillside Villa Hotel on February 17, 2017, a day after the Students’ Association by-elections.

Experts in communication, leadership, education and psychology facilitated the training that covered topics on leadership and communication skills, stress management, alcohol and drug abuse management and how to relate with local security agencies.

In the keynote address Professor Okumu Bigambo dwelled on effective communication skills, underscoring the importance of communication in professional life. “Communication is fundamental in all faculties of learning and personal development. Without effective communication, it is impossible to progress in any career or even in life,” he explained.

Prof Bigambo also explained that a leader takes interest in his colleagues ‘feeling their temperatures’ and getting to know their disposition, abilities and challenges. “In understanding colleagues, leaders become ‘hope mates, tasks mates and research mates’, sharing skills and tasks while raising hope in their team”, he explained.

In attendance was TKNP Principal Joyce Nyanjom who was keen to encourage the students and staff to embrace hands-on leadership. In her address, she clearly stated the need to support team members and collaborate in the pursuit of organizational and individual goals. “We are all capable as leaders if we receive the necessary support. It was very challenging when I was appointed to this position because I met a lot of obstacles but I overcame them and I have been successful. You need not lose your focus in the face of adversity,” she said.

Mr Majiwa explained in his presentation that TKNP is an all-inclusive institution and provides equal opportunities to all without any discrimination. He sensitized the attendants on how to handle people with disability to help them adapt without stereotyping, “It is important to understand the various forms of disabilities. We commonly relate disability to physical aspects only yet there are so many people in our midst who have other forms of disability and equally need our understanding and support,” said Dr Nyangara, the Registrar.

Representing the security agencies was Kondele Police Station Deputy OCS Zakayo Ekirapa who focused on the general role of the police and their functions at the local level vis a vis relating with leaders. He also sought to demystify the organs of the police force, “the police force is there to protect and support you, not to fight you, there’s really no need of antagonism or confrontations,” he said. The lively session captured the attention of those present, stimulating several pertinent issues regarding the relationship between the police and the institution.

KINAPOSA Chairman Francis Ouma had a chance to pass a vote of thanks on behalf of the student leaders in attendance, “The leadership training refreshed and energized us and came at an opportune time. It is really crucial for our success as leaders”, he said.


KISUMU POLYTECHNIC HOLDS FIRST E-VOTE IN KENYAN HISTORY

Kisumu National Polytechnic becomes the first tertiary institution to conduct a fully electronic election in choosing student leaders. The Information Communication and Technology services (ICT services) department deployed the e-voting system that it developed for a by-election held on February 16, 2017 at the Students’ Centre to fill the positions of Chairman and Vice chairman that fell vacant due to election irregularities in the previous polls.

Francis Fergusson Ouma, a third-year Diploma in Pharmacy, clinched the chairmanship with 830 votes ahead of Fanuel Odoyo, a second-year Diploma in Supply Chain Management student, who garnered 580 votes and automatically becomes the Chief Whip.  Patrick Otieno, a first-year Diploma in Civil Engineering student came in third and Naftali Wasonga, the only aspirant for the position of Vice Chair, assumed the position unopposed.

The e-voting system involves students voting online using computers and comes complete with a live tally that indicates the performance of the various candidates in real time.

The system uses the existing students’ database drawn from the nominal roll as an electronic register. This institution captures this information upon a student’s admission, after payment of school fees as well as during registration at the various departments where students enroll to take their courses.

The process is simple and fast. To vote a student must be duly registered in the Kisumu National Polytechnic registry and the relevant department, during this process the system captures their fingerprints and other relevant details. The first group of polling clerks confirm the bio-metrics of the voter before he moves to the second stage where they verify his registration details. At this point the student furnishes his student ID or the admission number.

“It is essential to confirm that the bio-metrics in the system match those of the student who presents himself to vote. We do this because we do not permit students on attachment to vote”, said Mr. Ochenya, the deputy dean. “When we are unable to verify a student’s fingerprints due to sweaty palms or for whatever reason, we resort to a manual voters’ register generated from the system database” explained the chief commissioner, Mr Dennis Okumu.

After verification, the student proceeds to cast his vote in one of the electronic booths then proceeds to the final step in the process known as the Ink Stage. Here the voter goes to the Ink desk where the index finger is stained with indelible ink. This ensures he doesn’t try to vote a second time.  However, the e-voting system has a mechanism that ensures a student is unable to choose twice by rejecting such a voter.

“Voting is simplified and the process is user friendly. A student simply logs-in to the e-voting interface by typing in their admission number. A page displaying the aspirants vying for various positions appears with their images and names, enabling the student to select his preferred candidates,” explained Mr Peter Ogada, Head of ICT services.

During the voting process, the aspirants monitor the exercise from a live tallying screen stationed at a designated corner in the Student’s Centre. It updates the vote count for each position in real time and constantly revises the tally. “The system displays the total number of registered voters, those who have cast their votes and aspirants’ total votes. This makes the exercise transparent, I will accept the results as they are,” said Mr Otieno, the aspirant who took third place in the race for chairperson.

In his acceptance speech, the Chairman, Mr Ouma, lauded the system for its transparency, “It is truly a fool-proof system and no tallying is required, immediately the voting process ends the results are announced and a winner declared,” he said.

The system minimizes election irregularities such as ballot stuffing and instances of voting more than once. “With this system, we don’t have to print ballot papers or worry about students voting twice. Voting and tallying happen concurrently and this saves us time,” said Mrs Khoja.

The Kisumu National Polytechnic is the first technical tertiary institution to use such a system in managing the students’ election process. “At the TKNP, we embrace technology, and for that reason we invest in and support technological innovations aligned to our goals. This new team needs to work on the current constitution to accommodate an e-voting system and move the election period from September to January,” said the Principal Mrs Joyce Nyanjom.


KINAPOSA HOLDS POLLS FOR NEW OFFICIALS

electoral-official-stamping-ballot-papersThe Kisumu National Polytechnic Students’ Association held its election on October 27, 2016 following a week-long campaign period culminating in a two-day voting exercise.

On the first day voters elected candidates for the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson positions while on the second day they selected the Secretary General, Academics and Finance executives as well as various representatives. “The election process has been smooth after a very active campaign period and we are proud to be part and parcel of this democratic process”, said Mrs. Khoja, the Dean of Students.

Candidates conducted vigorous campaigns, especially over the hotly contested positions of the Secretary General and Chairperson. They displayed huge banners, fliers and posters in the designated areas of the institution as they wooed students to vote for them. Supporters coined campaign tunes, songs of praise and chants in favor of their preferred candidates.

The administration ensured candidates conducted peaceful canvassing and enlisted the services of the police to maintain calm in the institution. “We have prepared very well and hope to have a peaceful, free and fair elections exercise over the two days,” said Returning Officer Mr. Dibondo, before the election.

student-electorate-queueing-voteOn Election Day, the administration maintained a well-organized polling station near the library that clerks operated from 6 a.m. Long queues of students snaked their way around the building as voters thronged the venue, indicating a high turnout. This year the administration deployed a biometric voter identification system and student registers to confirm voter eligibility. The entire exercise mimicked the national General Elect ion that the country conducts every five years.

The KINAPOSA election process in Kisumu National Polytechnic begins after the Dean of Students dissolves the students’ executive whose term has ended and announces new election dates through a circular. The Office of the Registrar then vets aspirants to confirm that they meet requirements of the KINAPOSA constitution to hold office. KNP values this thorough vetting of aspirants as it helps the institution in grooming future leaders who cherish integrity.

swearing-minister-nutrition-sanitationA swearing-in ceremony that the KINAPOSA Secretary General conducted followed the announcement of winners, with the Principal and the administration also officiating.


FISH FARM CONDUCTS ANNUAL HARVEST EXERCISE

fish-pond-preparing-harvest-netOn a cool morning at the Kisumu National Polytechnic, farm manager Moffat Omollo is busy preparing his fishing nets in readiness for the harvesting exercise. Dressed in a knee-length, grey overcoat and black trousers, Mr. Omollo and his team of five assistants lay the nets on the lawn between the fishponds next to a clear stream that replenishes the water supply in the pools.

Soon, customers will start trickling-in to purchase the most beloved food in the Nyanza region. Mr. Omollo explains the harvesting process thus: “A day before harvesting, we sample the fish to determine the sizes and prices in collaboration with the Stores and Finance departments. The fish take about nine months to mature to table size, an amount that both our internal customers and external businessmen can consume”.

Harvesting starts at 9.00 am with the team spreading a large net into the first pond that holds mostly tilapia and a few catfish. This is the pool from which the team expects their largest yield thus precision is important as they cast the net. The Stores and Finance team await the catch to aid the classification process. The effort is quite labor intensive but after a few minutes, the group hauls in their first harvest.

tilapia-net-fisheriesThe Stores and finance team then classifies the fish into various sizes, adds price tags then requests the customers to pay at the Cash office. The cashiers issue receipts to the customers who then present these to the stores clerk for the release of fish. The process continues until all the team sells all the fish, “We cannot resume harvesting until they sell all the fish from the first yield,” explains Mr. Omollo.

The farm has 16 ponds out of which 12 are fully functional with different fish species. Mr. Omollo says that he adds Catfish to the ponds to control the Tilapia population. The Catfish feed on young Tilapia and prevent them from over populating the pools.  “When we know the number of fish in the pond then we can feed them adequately,” Mr. Omollo says.

Meanwhile, the team has to get back to harvesting since many customers want Catfish and the first catch only nets one piece. “Catfish are very sly and we cannot trap them using the net. We need to drain the water from the pond, a process we can only do once we remove all the tilapia”, explains Emmanuel, a member of the team. “It is popular in the region because it is nutritious and fleshy. It also fetches good prices,” he adds.

head-fisheries-with-catfish-pondThe sales process for the day ends when customers have bought all the harvested fish. “We will harvest again next week. Harvesting and sales take place weekly until the team clears all the mature fish from the ponds”, says Mr. Omollo. “We then transfer some of the fingerlings to the ready ponds and sell some to fish farmers,” he adds.

The farm supplies the Polytechnic kitchen, students who live outside the campus, neighboring restaurants and the public. Mr. Omollo and his team at the KNP farm also grow bananas, mangoes and oranges with the aim of keeping the Kisumu National Polytechnic fraternity healthy.


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