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Nyakio Plant Operators, Tackling Youth And Women Empowerment Differently.

The Director joins the staff and graduants in celebrating their success the school's graduation ceremony.
The country’s unrelenting youth unemployment is creating concern over our ability to use its young people’s potential for its economic transformation but youth empowerment and participation in the same remains the greatest challenge.

The scale of the youth-unemployment problem has never been as a result of lack of jobs but has always been in the lack of skills to do certain jobs which were in abundance in the country. The greatest reason that causes this deficiency is the failure of employers, education providers and young people to understand one another.

Nyakio Plant Operator and Driving School in Thika Town saw this gap and sought to empower the youth through provision of technical skills that are now in great demand due to the great infrastructural developments that are being undertaken both within the country and abroad.

Speaking during their 2nd Graduation Ceremony at the Queen of Rosary Primary School Grounds, The director and proprietor of the institution Mr. Daniel Munene Kahoya (DMK) said that it was a very sad affair to note that even with the great need of technical expertise in Kenya, the country education system still lacked the necessary personnel to run certain jobs in the country.

“Education is about liberating one’s mind but here in Kenya, we are so much preoccupied with faculties that emphasise on acquiring white collar jobs for our children. These jobs are no longer there and many of our educated children are rotting in the villages for lack of jobs. As we cry for jobs, Kenya has embarked on so many infrastructural projects that have offered so many job opportunities for its people, but majority of the people working in these projects are foreigners. The machines are operated by these foreigners. We saw this gap and decided to approach educational and unemployment challenges among the youth and women differently,” said DMK.

Concerned about the state of crime and drug abuse among the youth in the society, thought of coming up with a system geared towards reshaping their future through training them as plant and heavy machines operators, a job that he had done all his life.

“When we sat down with my team, we set out to venture into this school so as to educate those who were languishing in desperation back at home for lack of the requisite academic qualifications to join secondary schools or the universities. Our curriculum leans heavily on operating and maintaining heavy machinery as we endeavour towards personalising each student’s educational experience to cater for individual learning needs. Our instructors collaborate closely with the government and the learners to create a personalised learning plan for each student,” he explained.
Dr. Kihonge present a certificate to one of the graduates.

That is how Nyakio Plant Operator and Driving School was born.

DMK said that his vision to transform to change the country through training operators has been appreciated by many people from within the country and in the greater East African Community. He is currently working in collaboration with Gakuyo Real Investments, Del Monte Ltd, DT Dobie, Bidco, H-Yang Contractors among other companies to ensure that their students gained the necessary expertise in handling and operating heavy machinery.

Speaking in the same venue, Dr. Ephantus Kihonge a lecturer JKUAT said that one of the greatest mess in the country’s education system was the overemphasis on academic excellence. This led to the policy makers to ignore the technical schools, the reason why in every region of the country, there existed a shortage in technical human resource.

“As a country, we have laid so much emphasis on formal and theoretical education, completely shutting out the technical institutions who provide us with the skills needed to drive this country into an industrialised and developed economy. As our country is growing and as we embark into all these infrastructural development works both in the national and county governments, we need these artisans to help fill this gap, the more reason to have colleges like Nyakio,” said Kihonge.

Isaac Ebo, a student from Turkana County and who joined the college after struggling in the job market for quite some time, was all praises as he graduated with the over 100 other graduants. Isaac says that due to the fact that he was semi-literate, acquiring a job was a tall order but with the skill he gained in the school, he was sure that he would secure a good job in any construction company or the industries within the country or abroad.

Titus Walukhu from Nambale, Busia County had previously graduated as a Literature teacher at the Masinde Muliro University but was never into this profession. He eventually ditched his career in teaching to pursue his childhood dream at Nyakio Plant Operators and Driving School. He plans to secure a job as an instructor at the college or in any other institution.

He admits that the teaching profession does not pay well as compared to this new field so he feels that he would not revert back to teaching, not in the near future.

Their sentiments were echoed by Ann Waiyego Mwangi from Kangema in Murang’a County and Moreen Gathoni Kihiko from Thika in Kiambu County, who found themselves following their childhood passion. The two were exited to pursue a career that was more associated to their male counterparts. 

Waiyego, who is a Form Four leaver, appealed to the leaders in the county governments to offer them jobs in the counties as there were plenty of road construction works going on.

Gathoni challenged other young girls to endeavour in male dominated careers as they were as good as the men. She appealed to the authorities to give priority to the local operators while recruiting personnel to work in the construction industry.

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