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China helps boost technical, vocational training in Kenya

China handed over on Tuesday a batch of modern equipment meant to help empower Kenya’s technical and vocational training institutions.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and officials from the Ministry of Education attended a ceremony held at Kenya Coast National Polytechnic in the coastal city of Mombasa to mark the handover.

The first batch of equipment came in the phase II of a Kenya-China project for boosting technical and vocational education to the east African country.

Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Yao Ming and Su Tianshu, chief representative of Kenya office of Avic International Holding Corporation, which supplied the equipment, were also among the attendees.

The equipment, loaded by 10 trucks, includes conventional mechanical workshops, automotive maintenance workshops and welding workshops, according to Su, who added that they would be dispatched to 20 technical and vocational training institutions across the country after the ceremony.

The Avic International Holding Corporation signed with Kenya’s Ministry of Education in 2010 an agreement worth about 30 million U.S. dollars on the phase I of Kenya-China project on the establishment of technical and vocational laboratories in Kenya.

The Chinese company helped equip 10 vocational and technical institutions in the country and provide solutions on areas including curriculum content and instructor training for them. About 15,000 Kenyans were trained in the implementation of the phase I of the project.

In 2013, the company inked the agreement on the phase II of the project, which is valued about 158 million U.S. dollars and will equip a total of 134 institutions of technical and vocational education and training across the county.

According to the company, about 1,500 teachers and some 150,000 students will be trained in phase II, which is scheduled to end in 2020.

Su said that the rest of the equipment in the phase II of the project will be handed over to the Kenyan institutions by the end of 2018.

Geoffrey Mwaniki, a first year student who majors in electrical engineering, spent some time studying a set of mechatronic workshops, which were shown during the ceremony.

Mwaniki told Xinhua that he was excited to know he would be able to use some of the modern equipment in the next semester.

“China is fascinating,” he said.

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