Determinants of Enrolment in Public Vocational Training Centres in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya
Kiplangat, Terwes M.
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The government of Kenya has invested heavily in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through establishing new Vocational Training centres (VTCs) as well as upgrading the existing ones to accommodate more youths. However, there are increasing concerns of low enrolment in these VTCs in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. This study was to establish determinants of enrolment in VTCs in ElgeyoMarakwet County. The enrolment levels in these centres over the past five years (2013-2017) have been lower than the required carrying capacity. The study objective aimed to; to establish: if costs contribute to enrolment in vocational training centres since delocalization; to determine levels of awareness by youths on existing sources of funding for enrolling in vocational training centres and how government policies influence enrolment in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. The study was guided by the theory of demand under the price theory developed by Hirshleifer (1980). Descriptive research design was adopted. The target population of the study comprised of 11 principals, 60 tutors, 1437 VTCs students and 20 primary school leavers. The sample size had 394 respondents; 11 principals, 52 tutors and 312 VTCs students. Regular students and tutors were selected using stratified sampling and proportionate simple random sampling techniques. Principals of VTCs were selected using purposive sampling technique. Snowballing method was used to locate 20 primary school leavers. The study used questionnaires and interview schedules as instruments for data collection. Lecturers from School of Education helped in determining content validity of the instruments. The research instruments were piloted and its reliability determined through test re-tests technique at an Rvalue of 0.6 and above. Reliability value obtained was above 0.6. Data was collected and analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic content analysis. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics; frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviation and inferential statistics ; analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test hypotheses for the study at 0.05 significant level to confirm if there was significant difference between tutors and regular students views on determinants of enrolment. Research findings were presented in tables, figures and narrations. The study found out that the cost of vocational education was high (Ksh; 10,000/=) and above for majority of peasant farmers to finance their students in schools. The cost of vocational education therefore was found to contribute to enrolment of students. Secondly, the study found out that the level of awareness of existing sources of funding by students and school leavers contributed to low enrolment rate in public VTCs. Thirdly, the study found out that some government policies favoured enrolment (funding, resource distribution, bursary and admission) in VTCs. Nevertheless, the school leavers and students were found to have lower level of awareness on government policies on financing. The study concluded that cost of vocational education, awareness of existing sources of funding and government policy affected enrolment of students in public vocational training centres in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. The study recommends that government should introduce funding for VTC learners by working with county governments. In addition, the county government should create awareness on existence of VTCs and requirements for one to join them.