NAIROBI, The planned roll-out of Kenya’s new education system in May 2017 will herald a new era of highly skilled and youthful workforce suitably equipped to support their own survival and prosperity as well as anchor consistent growth for the economy.

This was stated here Monday by the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director-General, Dr Julius Muia, who said the implementation of the education reforms would accelerate the Government’s efforts of transforming Kenya into a knowledge-based, upper middle-income and industrialized nation.

He pointed out that the ongoing roll-out of digital learning devices to primary school pupils and focused attention on vocational training institutions, which included significant budgetary support, would reduce the number of unemployed youth by giving them a source of livelihood and boost industrialization.

“We foresee a future where more youth are armed with diverse business skills and valuable hands-on experience that is uniquely innovative to enable them tackle the most pressing daily challenges at personal, community and national level,” said Dr Muia.

Over the last four years, the government has spent over 7.0 billion shillings (about 67.8 million US dollars) to expand Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and as a result, the number of TVETS has increased from 79 to the current 121 facilities.

Moreover, at least 32 TVET institutions have been fully equipped with the necessary materials to support practical lessons while 43 others are still being equipped with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) at a cost of 9.0 billion shillings.

To improve the capacity of TVET institutions and enhance the learning outcomes, at least 40 institutions have been connected to the internet through fibre optic. Also, smart classrooms have been established in 10 institutions to boost access to TVET programmes.

These developments coupled with curriculum reforms, he said, play a pivotal role in increasing access to quality education and training as well as enhancement of skills for the labour market and wealth creation.