JOOUST to Offer TVET Programs
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Bondo sub county in Siaya is poised to become the first chartered university in Kenya to offer artisan courses.
The decision to establish a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) department within the university was made to provide opportunities for students who are interested in acquiring artisan skills.
The initiative is also aimed at reducing the unemployment rate in the county, where white-collar jobs are limited.
JOOUST Vice Chancellor, Prof. Steven Angong’, said that TVET is the only option to make this happen, and added that Kenya has a limited number of people with artisan skills while demand for their services increases daily.
The University aims to increase the number of skilled artisans in Siaya, which will create employment opportunities for youth and reduce the need to import artisan services from other counties.
Angong’ called on people to change their perception of TVET students as academic failures and cited an example of a JOOUST student who invented a means of harnessing electricity from human waste.
JOOUST currently offers training for plumbers, masons, carpenters, constructors, and electricians.
Kenya Water Institute and Kenya Power Lighting Company are among the founders of TVET learning, having benefited from the government program of certifying their TVET trainees in the Recognition of Prior Learning program since 1970.
JOOUST TVET Director, Erick Okute, said they currently have 26 programmes and are requesting TVET authority to raise it to 30. Although the students are taking artisan courses, they have a sense of belonging to a university.
Okute asked the government to capacitate TVET learners and to consider them for funds from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to help pay for school fees. Despite the lack of school fees, the number of people showing up for the courses is increasing each year in the institution.
The University has seen students move from Bachelor’s degree to diploma, arguing that the diploma is more skill-based and marketable, and less theoretical than the degree.
Maurice Nyandawa from the Engineering Department encouraged female students to enroll in TVET courses and not leave the opportunity to males only.
Secondary school students have also been paying visits to the University to create awareness among those who may be interested in learning artisan courses but are ignorant of their existence.
The establishment of a TVET department at JOOUST is a positive development for Siaya County and Kenya at large. It will equip the youth with artisan skills that are in high demand in the country and reduce unemployment rates.
The government needs to increase TVET institutions to match the rising demand for skilled artisans. Additionally, capacitating TVET learners and considering them for funds from HELB would encourage more students to enroll and pursue their dreams.
JOOUST to Offer TVET Programs