Chinese machines inspire Kenyan youth to pursue quality vocational training

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-04 10:03

NAIROBI - Esther Apetet's childhood dream was fulfilled last month when she secured an admission at Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) to pursue a diploma in mechanical engineering.

Defying stereotypes to enroll in a discipline that has for decades been shunned by Kenyan girls, the 19-year-old college student is determined to succeed and leave behind a legacy worth emulating.

Apetet's institution was a beneficiary of several computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines supplied by China's AVIC International Holding Corporation in July as part of its ambitious goal to help transform vocational training in Kenya.

During an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday at her vocational training center located on the outskirts of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Apetet hailed the state-of-the-art machines, saying they had inspired her to pursue engineering with vigor.

"I would like to thank Chinese companies for providing machines that are easier to use and I look forward to acquiring technical skills that will enable me to become self-employed in future," said Apetet, who majors in automotive engineering.

She noted that automated milling machines supplied by the Chinese company were a departure from their manual counterparts in terms of efficiency and speed.

"These machines look modern and upgraded. They are computerized and easier to operate unlike the manual ones. I expect to learn how to use the machines within a short period," Apetet told Xinhua.

Collins Muriithi, her 19-year-old schoolmate, was equally excited by the prospect of learning how to operate the computerized milling machines that have elevated the prestige of his vocational training institution.

"We thank the Chinese company for equipping these modern machines that are easier to operate by both students and tutors," said Muriithi.

He is pursuing a diploma in mechanical engineering and production option, looking forward to acquiring practical skills that will enable him to stand out in the job market.

Kenya Technical Trainers College, one of the oldest vocational training centers in the country, is set to transform teaching of engineering disciplines.

Hilda Omwoyo, deputy principal in charge of academic affairs at KTTC, said the conventional and automated milling machines provided by the Chinese firm would boost skills acquisition and employability among young learners.

"The equipment will improve standards in technical and vocational training in this institution. They will boost industrial skills of trainees and tutors," said Omwoyo.

She added the modern machines and equipment would help bridge skills gap that is responsible for high youth unemployment in Kenya.

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