The Ministry of Education officials at State Department of Vocational and Technical Training say plans to recruit 3,000 trainers in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) institutions are ready and on course.
Inside sources reveal that plans are steady including rolling out an advert for qualified trainers to apply. However funding and logistics are yet to be finalized following the incoming of the new government.
The recruitment which was planned to happen early this year was suspended due to budgetary constraints.
Tvet colleges comprise of Technical Training Institutes (TTIs), Polytechnics, Vocational Training Centers (VCTs), Technical Training Colleges, and any other approved learning institution.
Yesterday the Kenya Kwanza government was officially handed the office mandate after taking the oath of office.
The event which happened at Kasarani and attended by dignitaries including different heads of states saw President elect William Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua being sworn in as President and Deputy President.
President Ruto during the campaigns, promised a turn around in higher education institutions including TVETs.
Dr Ruto promised to complete construction of TVET institutions in the remaining 250 wards.
He said his administration would focus on infrastructure development of institutions since “education is the greatest enabler of the bottom-up economic model.”
He pledged to complete 250 vocational institutes across the country and an additional 52 TVETs within two years.
The President also said the existing funding model for higher education that consolidates universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) funding board and Helb, will be collapsed and a funding council formed dubbed the National Skills and Funding Council.
In his Kenya Kwanza Education Charter Dr Ruto also promised to address shortage in institutions of higher learning including TVET.
In December last year, Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Margaret Mwakima said new trainers will comprise 1,000-degree holders and 2,000 diploma, graduates.
In the year 2020, the government employed 3,000 teachers, who included 2,000-degree holders and 1,000 diploma holders.
Dr Mwakima also ordered a full rollout of the Competency-Based Tvet (CBET) curriculum this year to promote skills development.
Mwakima said these when she was addressing technical trainers under the umbrella of the Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutions (Katti) at the Pride Inn Beach Resort in Mombasa during a workshop on human resource management in December 2021.
The function was also attended by Education Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor.
TVET trainers win case against Kuppet on union dues
The Tvet trainers were transferred from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to the Public Service Commission (PSC) and were being trained as the government focuses on transforming the sector to produce more young people with relevant technical skills.
Last year, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) suffered a major blow after the court ordered it to refund Sh90 million in member dues and agency fees deducted from more than 3,500 tutors in technical institutions currently employed by the Public Service Commission(PSC) for three years.
In her judgment, Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labour Relations Court said no employer can effect any deductions of union dues unless the forms signed by employees have been received from said trade union and its validity is ascertained.
“That the respondents each refund any monies deducted from the salaries of the claimant and the persons on whose behalf he filed this suit and remitted to the first respondent on account of union dues or agency fees after the date they ceased to be employees of the third respondent,” said Justice Onyango on Thursday in Nairobi.
The judgment followed a case filed by a technical and vocational education training (TVET) institution tutor Kepher Oguwi Langi on his behalf and that of other trainers.
According to Mr Langi, despite the government transferring TVET tutors from the employment of TSC to the PSC, the union has illegally continued to receive membership dues meant for the tutors from the employer.
Mr Langi said he and the more than 3,500 tutors ceased being members after the transfer. About 500 others were members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
However, Knut has not been deducting dues from the TVET tutors. The Kuppet deducts 1.8 percent of members’ basic salary as union dues.
According to Mr Langi, the union was deducting between Sh5 million and Sh6 million from the tutors monthly.
“Cumulatively, the illegal deductions amount to Sh90 million,” he said.
Mr Langi said the respondents illegally made a consent with Kuppet and continued to remit union dues and agency fees.
He told the court that the union did not have a recognition agreement with the PSC, the Vocational and Technical Training PS. Therefore, he said, the union could not purport to represent the tutors.
New scheme for promoting trainers developed
“We have also developed the criteria for the promotion of technical trainers and it will be implemented in full,” said Mwakima, adding that registrars and trainers in acting capacity will be confirmed.
She said the capital grants for students in Tvet institutions will be released early to ensure the smooth running of the colleges.
Katti chairperson Glory Mutungi said Tvet teachers have suffered after the transfer from TSC to PSC because their promotions stalled, and many of them served on the same grade for many years while some died or retired while waiting for higher job grades.
“We are looking forward to the document on promotion to be fully implemented,” she said.
She called for the employment of more trainers to address a big shortage in Tvet institutions.
“We are also urging the ministry to expand our institutions so as to accommodate more students as the competency-based curriculum rolls out in Tvet institutions. We need funds for expansion to avoid congestion,” she said, adding that the sector deserved its own ministry.
Mr Noor said it was prudent for the trainers to start preparing for their retirement early to avoid mental anguish and frustration when they leave the public service.