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Factors influencing the attractiveness of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institution

A case study of a Technical Institute in Kenya

Author - John Wanyonyi Simiyu


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Descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the quantitative data. The open-ended data were coded and organized based on the questionnaires and interview schedules. A narrative summary of the responses explains the data. Information not relevant to the study was omitted.

Nature of courses offered by the institution to add to its attractiveness

The institution offered technical craft and artisan courses during the early days when the institution was under the management of the missionary and even thereafter, until 1987 when it started offering diploma courses and some craft and artisan certificate courses. The departments in the institute are as shown in Table 1.

Department Number of studentsCertification
Agricultural engineering 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Automotive engineering 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Mechanical engineering 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Building and construction engineering 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Electrical engineering 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Information technology 25Diploma/craft/artisan
Accounting and secretarial 25Diploma/craft/artisan

Regarding market billing of the courses 10 (91%) of the heads of departments/heads of section affirmed the marketability of the courses. This agrees with the feedback the institution receives from industry. Over 100 students graduate from the institution every year. Graduates from the institution who have graduated with distinctions and strong credits have high employment prospects in prestigious companies or further studies. Feedback from industry where the graduates are employed gave the impression that all was well in the institution. The institution strived to improve and maintain the high performance of trainees. Although the teaching load in the departments was heavy, instructors were highly qualified and dedicated to their work and had high morale to counteract it. The administration saw to it that things were done to improve the competencies of faculty and all workers in the institution.

The extent to which the courses are made more attractive

Apart from marketing the courses in terms of employability, both in industry and self, the institution seemed to have gone out of its way to make a concerted effort to advertise the courses. The adverts were placed in the dailies, brochures and calendars. Radio and television were also used to announce the courses and times to apply. Graduates from the institution also told prospective students about the institution. Analysis of the data revealed that performance standards of the students were high. There were career and guidance and counseling personnel to advise students on academic and social life. The rural setting provided an environment conducive to learning.

Faculty was assigned duties by the heads of departments and heads of sections on the basis of their qualifications and experience. The student/staff relationship was good and 11 (100%) respondents (heads of sections and heads of department) alluded to this. There was ample workshop and laboratory space and machines were adequate for the number of students. There were four workshops [see Images 1, 2 and 3], two computer laboratories [Images 4 and 5] and one technical drawing laboratory. The maintenance programme of equipment, computers and machines was elaborate.

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