The village polytechnic and the family life training programme: purpose, progress and problems
Migot - Adholla, S.E.
MetadataShow full item record
This paper is intended to review the goals, progress and problems of both village polytechnic and family life training programmes as instruments of rural development in Kenya. Village polytechnics aim at bridging the gap between increased opportunities for primary education and the limited places for further training and employment thereby reducing the problem of rural underdevelopment. There are about 400 of these institutions 250 of which receive financial aid from the government. The V.P.P. has helped in retaining about two-thirds of the youth in the rural areas (Evaluation Mission Report 1974). The programme thus helps to reduce the gravity of the more dreaded problem of rural-urban migration. Several questions are raised in the paper with regard to the objectives of the V.P.P.; whether leavers work in rural or urban areas, whether their occupations utilise the skills acquired during the training, and whether they work for other employers or they engage in self-employment. The F.L.T.P. was initiated in 1974 as a modification of the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres that existed prior to the 1960s. The conception of the programme was to educate poor mothers on how to best feed their children, and in critical cases and for demonstration, the mothers and their children were kept at these centres for two to three weeks. It is argued in the paper; however, that this programme is not effective as an instrument of training, mothers on prevention of malnutrition as the centres role is basically curative. The stay in the Centres is also seen to be too short to allow sufficient improvement on the part of the sick children and for mothers to learn the new methods which include diet-balancing. The centres are also faced with serious staffing and general financial problems. It is subsequently suggested that both V.P.P. and F.L.T.P. should be merged to enhance the adoption of technology and skill formation to promote rural development. Instrumental in this task it is felt should be the extensive consultation and restructuring of the programmes with the centre for Research and Training at Karen as the Co-ordinator. The solutions to the problems of V.P.P. lie in increased financial viability, diversification of the courses and particularly the initiation of agriculture-oriented courses other than carpentry and masonry. On the other hand the success of the F.L.T.P. depends on the increase in the numbers in order to have an impact on the community, extension of the training time and recruitment of qualified instructors.