Training institution

Ministry acquires 10 acres for teacher training institution

Students from the coastal region at an exhibition. [File, Standard]

The government has acquired land in Taveta sub-county to build a training college for primary school teachers.

Education Ministry officials said they had identified more than 10 acres to set up the training facility in the area, where local leaders have previously expressed concern over marginalization and a gap in affirmative action in recruitment teachers.

Yesterday, county director of education Simon Wanjohi said they had already identified the location to implement the project.

“We have been allocated the land and we have a title deed to establish the primary teacher training school. The county board of education will travel to Taveta sub-county to inspect the land and then convene a meeting of education stakeholders to ratify the project. The process is ongoing,” the education official said during a meeting in Mwatate town yesterday.

The region lacks more than 440 primary and secondary teachers. The shortage, according to the stakeholders, had been caused by retirements, natural attrition, the allocation of a few slots for recruitment and transfers without replacement.

Private St Mary’s Teacher Training College, which is owned by the Catholic Church, is the only primary training college in the area.

The implementation of the new project will bring to five the number of public training institutions in the region. Others include Taita Taveta University, Coast Institute of Technology (CIT), and Voi and Taveta Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTC).

Meanwhile, Coast Institute of Technology (CIT) will soon be converted into a national polytechnic. The technical training institute, which has positioned itself to achieve Kenya’s Vision 2030 goals to provide quality education, is among eight institutions in the county identified for upgrading next year.

CIT Deputy Director Gloria Wawuda and Board Member Prof. Julius Mwabora recently told Taita-Taveta County Assembly (MCA) members that the institute had already been inspected by a team from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) authorities.

Wawuda and Prof. Mwabora, who is also a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Nairobi, briefed the MCAs on the changing status of the institute, their views on upgrading the institute and the name change.

Five names have been proposed for the modernized institution, including National Polytechnic Taita-Taveta, National Polytechnic Tsavo, National Polytechnic Voi, National Polytechnic Dawida-Tuweta and National Polytechnic Eliud Timothy Mwamunga.

The late Mwamunga, a former Voi legislator and cabinet minister, donated 42 acres to set up the institution in 1981.

The MCAs endorsed the proposal to elevate the institute to national status. Wawuda noted that once elevated, the institution will be self-sustaining and have its own curriculum.

“We will soon be launching a driving school in the establishment to meet the strong demand for drivers. We also encourage girls to take engineering courses,” added Wawuda.