Little known Karumo Technical Training Institute was named the best performing tertiary institution in the country going by the just released ratings for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Tacked in the interior of the semi-arid Tigania West sub-county the institution beat odds to scoop the coveted price from a list of at least 135 other institutions.
The awarding ceremony took place during the release of the report on Evaluation of the Performance of Ministries, State Corporations and Tertiary Institutions for the 2021/2022 Financial Year presided by President William Ruto at KICC.
This, according to the institution’s Principal Ms Florah Kanyua who spoke during an event to celebrate the win, was not a mean achievement for the young institute which held its inaugural graduation ceremony two months ago.
Speaking to KNA, the elated principal said the main secret behind the remarkable performance was teamwork and dedication among all the members of staff in the institution.
“We are very glad that we emerged the best in the country in terms of performance contracting which incorporates various issues. We are not taking this for granted and we can only attribute it to teamwork, dedication and above all to God,” said Ms Kanyua.
She explained that in performance contracting, an institution is expected to set targets at the beginning of a financial year and at the end of the period, it is rated on the basis of whether it managed to achieve the set targets.
“In our case for instance, we achieved almost all the targets we had set in the year 2021/2022 starting with academic performance which we had set at 67 per cent but surpassed this to score 73 per cent,” said Ms Kanyua.
She added that they had also said that they will construct some classes which they did, as well as committing to giving internship opportunities to young people among other targets.
The institution’s overall performance stood at a mean score of 78 per cent.
“The key thing is that once we set the targets, we sensitise all the staff members on the same and so each of them is aware of what is expected of us to achieve at the end of the year.
We have seen this work because every trainer owns the exercise and we are attributing this to strong teamwork,” said Ms Kanyua.
She added that their qualified trainers who understand what is expected of them also set their individual targets which are usually higher than what they set in the performance contracting and this has helped them to meet their overall targets easily.
Location of the institution in a rural area, she added, is a plus to the institution as it gives learners a conducive environment for their studies.
“Unlike in the urban areas, this helps our students concentrate on their studies because once you have lesser obstructions you are able to perform well in classwork,” said Ms Kanyua adding that a secure environment, as well as disciplined students were also factors that contributed to their win of the award.
She added: “We also participate in co-curricular activities meaning that the institution is holistic which provides opportunities for those who perfect in these activities.”
Nevertheless, the institution has been facing challenges including lack of enough learning facilities as well as infrastructure, and inadequate water.
“Considering that our institution is a day school, we have no hostels despite having students from far flung areas. As a result, the students rent houses from outside and with the high demand the rent fee is also high. This forces the students to look for houses as far as six kilometers from the institution,” said Ms Kanyua.
She is requesting the residents to construct more houses to accommodate the increasing student population.
“I appreciate them since they have really tried to take up that initiative but I am encouraging them to do more,” she said.
She added that the institution has only 30 trainers employed by the public service commission with more than 70 others being under the board of governors which translates to a huge wage bill for the growing institution.
“If we have the 70 trainers absorbed by the government, we would channel the money we use to pay them to other development projects,” said Ms Kanyua.
She encouraged parents to take their children to such institutions regardless of the grade they scored in their secondary school examinations adding that they will end up being molded to important people in future.