Village polytechnics in central Kenya : progress, problems and prospects
Ferguson, Alan G.
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This paper gives the overall findings of a study designed to assess the performance of village polytechnics in Central Kenya in terms of the promotion of rural development, the attitude of trainees to employment prospects in the rural areas and the city and the extent to which the success of village polytechnics is dependent on the standard of living in the rural areas. In the sample of 23 VPs, most had been successful in placing their leavers in employment in their local areas although no consistent monitoring of leavers had been done at the time of the survey. Although most of the 175 trainees interviewed expressed a desire to work in their home area a sizeable minority expressed a preference to work in a town, particularly Nairobi, although the general image of Nairobi is a vague one. The role of VPs in promoting rural development is seen as over-ambitious since the success of the VPs tends to depend highly on the pre-existing levels of rural prospects. Several problems restricting the development of VPs are identified and solutions suggested. The greatest danger to the development of VPs appears to be the growing lack of flexibility in organization which prevents VPs from reacting quickly enough to changes in the local economy.