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Thika Tech. Is Kenya’s 1st Institute To Adopt The ‘Smart Classroom’ En-route To Being A National Polytechnic.

The Administrative Secretary in the State Department of Vocational & Technical Training Samuel Joseph Otieno ( 2nd left) presenting a certificate to a top student. Looking on is The Principal Thika Technical Mr. Jefferson Kariuki (holding envelope).
Plans are underway to upgrade Thika Technical Training Institute (TTTI) into a national polytechnic that will help them link with other universities to offer higher certificates and degree courses. This will make it possible for the institute to have an MOU with these universities to offer their courses within the institute and vice versa.  

They are among the first 10 selected TTIs in the country to be Centers of Excellence and has from this uplift, benefited with among other things, being modernised with 21st century learning facilities fully integrated with ICT based learning specifically designed for Technical Industrial Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TIVET) and the provision of digitised and automated equipment and orientation training on their use through human capacity building and curriculum development.

In its endeavour to attain full industrialisation by the year 2030, the government had intensified efforts through education by increasing equitable access of technical training to all youth. Towards this end, there are plans to construct over 130 new technical and vocational colleges countrywide, 60 of which are already complete.

“All these new institutes will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure not only the quality and relevance of the programmes, but also for international competitiveness. I am happy to note that Thika Technical Institute is mentoring three of these institutions namely; Murang’a Technical Training Institute (Maragua), Mwea Technical Training Institute (Mwea) and Kirinyaga Technical Training Institute (Gichugu),” said the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education State Department of Vocational & Technical Training Dr. Dinah Jerotich C. Mwinzi in a speech read on her behalf by the Administrative Secretary in the State Department of Vocational & Technical Training Samuel Joseph Otieno during the 6th Graduation Ceremony of TTTI.

The move has seen the Thika facility become the first institute in the country to adopt the ‘Smart Classroom’ that enhances the introduction of student-centred learning, interdisciplinary work, competence-based education and Training (CBET) through presentations (digital lessons), investigations and simulations (through on-screen simulations and virtual experiments), practical exercises, project and group work.

“Thika Technical Institute has a ‘smart classroom’, the first of its kind in the country and among the 10 virtual classrooms in the world where they can actually design and produce an item in the lab and go out there and produce it meaning that they will not need any other ‘on-the-job’ training. This implies that the students get out of this institution ready to be employed,” said Otieno in an interview later.

To respond to emerging trends and market demands, a number of provisional standards have been developed and various competence based curriculum are being rolled out. The PS noted that TTTI had taken advantage of this development by offering short-term skill training courses in a variety of disciplines and was among 44 other institutions that had embraced e-learning through flexible and blended modes of delivery.

The Principal Thika Technical Mr. Jefferson N. Kariuki said that as an institution, they were very ready to assume the upgraded status which according to him was quite necessary for an institution of their caliber. He welcomed all those youth who dropped out of school before joining institutions of higher learning, saying that they were offering all kinds of certificate and diploma courses that were relevant to this country. He added that the government was offering bursaries and loans to their students thus no reason for anyone to stay at home.

TTTI offers 8 departments with about 49 diploma and 18 certificate programmes in various specialisations. This year saw 855 graduants conferred with both diploma and certificates. It is the leading institution in the country in terms of offering open and distant learning programmes with this year having the first group of graduants in this category.

They have already trained 1,600 student in short-course programmes.

Thika Technical Training Institute started in 1949 as a vocational training centre for the World War II servicemen, offering just elementary book-keeping, masonry and dressmaking courses. Since 1986 when it was converted into a technical training institute after the introduction of the 8-4-4 education system, it has managed to train over 12,000 students.

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