By Malachi Motano
Kitalakapel, the first training Institute in Kapenguria, West Pokot has already enrolled students for May classes this year, giving priority to reformed warriors and ladies who ran away from female genital mutilation (FGM), as the pioneers.
The county has never had a technical institute since colonial era because of insecurity challenges. However, the end to cattle rustling in West Pokot County two years ago now has opened a new window for erecting learning institutions in every corner of the county.
According to John Kibowen, the Principal at Kitalakapel Technical Training Institute, the community is embracing education as an alternative.
He was speaking at the institute where he disclosed that the unique thing concerning the institute is that in the whole North Rift region it’s the only technical institute that has a processing plant.
The institute has so far enrolled 60 students and is offering different courses like general agriculture, ICT, library studies, masonry, social work and community development, business studies among others.
The Principal noted that the community has greatly benefited from the inception of the institute since most of the teaching staff come from within the county and also it has created employment and promoted business at Kitalakapel market.
The institute’s charges are affordable with the government paying 70 per cent of the school fees for learners as others get county and constituency development fund bursary.
“Our main area of specialization is agriculture value addition. We have processing machines that can process fresh products. We can process milk and meat. Our machines also process fresh juices which we can sell at low prices and help run the institute,” he added.
Mr Kibowen is happy that a good number of ladies who had been married at a tender age have now enrolled for different courses like ICT and general agriculture.
“We intend to start new courses that will take three months to incorporate school leavers and drops outs to gain some technical skills” he said.
One Selina Chepurai, a mother of two said she was married off after completing her primary education but she now wants to achieve her dreams of becoming a librarian.
“I am a mother and married, during the day while my kids are going to school I also attend my classes and we later meet in the evening. We thank the national government for constructing the institute within our locality,” she said.