In Summary
  • Building technology, metal processing technology and carpentry and joinery did not have a single female student in all the institutions.
  • However, ICT was the most popular course in both gender with an entry of 108 male students and 113 female students.

The choice of courses by Kenyan youths is driven by gender and attitude, a new study has revealed.

According to a study conducted on vocational training centres, by Zizi Afrique Foundation’s Ujana360 project, the imbalance in gender was clear in both the general enrolment and the choice of courses.

The 30 vocational training centres where the study was conducted had a total enrolment of 3,183 students. Of these, 60 percent (1,922) were male and the rest 1,026 were female, with a difference in gender of about 800 students.

GARMENT MAKING

Building technology, metal processing technology and carpentry and joinery did not have a single female student enrolled across all the institutions.

On the other hand, fashion design and garment making, and hairdressing and beauty therapy were predominantly female courses.

There were only three male students who registered for each of the courses.

“In terms of gender, male students preferred motor vehicle technology, building technology, metal processing technology, carpentry and joinery, plumbing and computer and electronics. Female students, on the other hand, preferred Fashion design and garment making, hairdressing and beauty therapy, and catering and housekeeping,” stated part of the report.

However, ICT was the most popular course in both gender with an entry of 108 male students and 113 female students

PREFERRED COURSES

The scouting study established that the three most preferred courses in all institutions were fashion design and garment making, motor vehicle technology, ICT and building technology.

The study further identified poor infrastructure and disparity of the trainees in entry levels as a challenge to the implementation of TVET curricula.

One asked, ‘how do you teach a Class Eight dropout and a form Four graduate in the same class, without demoralising one, or leaving the other behind.

“The language of instruction was an issue, because many school dropouts could not comfortably communicate in English, while those that had completed secondary school preferred English,” the report further stated.

Poor infrastructure was described as inadequate physical resources stating that most the institutions were using outdated technologies or no equipment at all for practical training.

DROPOUT

The esteem (attitude) of the students was also cited as a problem, describing it as the ‘failure mentality’, which often yielded dropout.

The study was conducted in 30 vocational training centres, both public and private, in 11 counties: Nairobi, Machakos, Kitui, Mombasa, Nyeri, Kisumu, Kericho, Turkana, Narok, Embu and Siaya.

The mapping exercise established that many courses are offered in the different vocational training centres. On average, each centre was offering at least seven courses.

Some private centres, however, had specialised in a few (1-3) courses, providing for greater institutional specialisation.