Youth Polytechnic Students’ Perception of Vocational Training in Nandi County, Kenya
Metto, Kipkemboi Wilson
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Every year, over 550,000 pupils sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and only about 70% secure admission in secondary schools. As a remedy, Youth Polytechnics (YPs) provide alternative avenues as institutions of learning so as to absorb those who do not proceed to secondary schools. YPs offer school leavers opportunity to acquire competitive skills and knowledge for gainful employment. However despite the rationale for the introduction of YPs to equip youth with skills, there are increasing concerns regarding YP students’ perception of vocational training. The purpose of the study was to investigate and describe YP students’ perception of vocational training in Nandi County, Kenya. The overall objective of this study was to investigate YP students’ perception of vocational training. Other objectives were:- to ascertained YP students’ perception of instructor competencies, to establish YP students’ perception of skills learnt, to investigate YP students’ perception of teaching strategies and methods of training and lastly to explore YP student challenges experienced. The study used a cross sectional survey design in which both quantitative and qualitative data were collected on sampled YPs in Nandi County, Kenya. YP students’ perception and vocational training were dependent and independent variables respectively. The target population was 1521students, 34 instructors and 12 principal managers in YPs in Nandi County, Kenya. Purposive and cluster sampling techniques were used to pick 6 YPs, 17 instructors and 6 principal managers respectively. Principal Managers are the heads of YPs. Thirty percent trainees were sampled from a total population of 1521which turned out to be 457. The data collection instruments were questionnaires, interview schedules and documentary analysis checklist prepared for students, instructors and principal managers. Research instruments were validated by engaging suggestions given by the supervisors. Later, test retests of the instruments were conducted so as to make them reliable. Data were organized by coding and presented through tabulation using charts, graphs and pie-charts. It was analyzed by descriptive statistical techniques. Measures of central tendencies such as mean, median and mode were calculated. The data obtained from questionnaires were analyzed by calculating mean while for document analysis checklist and interview schedules they were analyzed by finding mode and frequencies. The study found that YPs student had either positive or negative perceptions of vocational training which emanated from-: instructor competencies, skills learnt, teaching methodologies, challenges encountered; student entry behavior and societal beliefs. Further, it was also found that instructors had pedagogy challenges; YPs faced many challenges which included rundown and old facilities. The study also revealed that most learners in YPs were weak academically and needed motivation. The study recommends: - all potential students to enroll for courses in YPs, curriculum to be improved; in-service training to be organized for instructors and modern facilities and resources to be availed. The findings are useful to the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Planning, the Directorate of Youth Affairs, County Governments, Departments YPs and potential trainee, parents with prospective learners, Kenya society and community as a whole.