In March this year, Safaricom Foundation kicked off a substantial vocational training program in the country. The first center was launched at Waithaka Vocational Training Center but plans are to have the model replicated in eleven other institutions in Nairobi, Marsabit, West Pokot, Mandera, Kwale, Narok, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Kisumu and Vihiga. The Waithaka center was launched at the cost of Ksh.33 Million, but the foundation has set aside Kshs.130 Million to spread out to other young people around the country with training in areas like plumbing, welding, food and beverage, and electrical engineering.
Later with the need for social distancing to curb the pandemic, it became clear that online learning is the best possible option for now and the foundation donated devices to over 70 students to enable them access materials for e-Learning. Already, 300 students who had been shortlisted for the Foundation’s TVET program started online classes on 22nd June. This is in partnership with Zizi Afrique Foundation and TookKit iSkills, a social enterprise organization that will roll out the program.
As the program continues to take shape, Safaricom foundation has handed over airtime worth KES 525,000 to Kibondeni College towards e-learning for 350 students for three months, with 100 students also set to receive scholarships in January 2021. Safaricom Foundation is committed to TVET as part of its sustainability agenda and supporting students with gadgets and airtime ensures that they can continue learning while still observing the laid down COVID-19 spread prevention protocols.
“Most of our students come from low income backgrounds, and the donation by the Safaricom Foundation will enable them to continue with their studies remotely. We are also part of the TVET programme that will see the Safaricom Foundation give scholarships to 100 of our students in Nairobi and Kilifi, and we look forward to future partnerships that will benefit our youth”Lynda Kasina, Principal, Kibondeni College.
An analysis by Higher Education Loans Board shows that employability is at 96% for people with Technical and Vocational Education and Training compared to 40% among those with a university degree. However, TVET participation remains low with enrollment standing at only 60%.