Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) celebrated her 17th graduation ceremony on July 5, 2019 at a colourful ceremony presided over by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Najib Balala.
Over 200 students were awarded Certificates and Diplomas in various course including Aquaculture, Community Wildlife Management, Nature Interpretation and Tour Administration, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Tourism and Hospitality and Environmental Management.
Balala advised the graduating class of 2019, to embrace the culture of respect to humanity around them and uphold high levels of integrity throughout their endeavors in life.
The Cabinet Secretary announced that eight students who attained Upper Credit in different fields at certificate level will get government sponsorship to persue their Diploma courses in the institute at the start of the next Academic year.
He acknowledged the tremendous growth the institution has realized over the years and urged the management to utilize the 1500 acres of land it occupies to undertake research and innovation.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you have the ability and resources to realize this,” he said, adding that the management of the institute should expand its hospitality services for conferencing and accommodation facilities to generate more revenue.
Balala also challenged KWSTI’s management to strive to make the institute a centre of excellence for other similar colleges to benchmark with.
He said plans are underway to set up a research centre and a campus of Utalii College in Naivasha after modalities are worked out by a Needs Assessment Team he has constituted led by Principal Secretary State Department of Wildlife, Dr. Susan Koech .
The CS called on KWSTI to work closely with the Law Enforcement Academy based in Manyani to impart a culture of ethics and respect among trainees.
The Cabinet Secretary expressed satisfaction that the institution offers competency-based training education in both research and hospitality. He said this is why it has attracted Students from other nationalities, particularly South Sudan who are sponsored through the Kenya- South Sudan Liaison Office.
He said his ministry will work closely with that of Education with a view to ensuring that students of KWSTI benefit from the Higher Education Loans Board as they used to. The CS called for Public Private Partnership to establish affordable hostels for students to end the hustle of seeking accommodation outside the institute.
Speaking at the ceremony, Principal Secretary for State Department of Wildlife Dr. Susan Koech challenged the institution’s management to come up with a contextualized curriculum that is in tandem with the job market for tourism management for it contributes 10% of the county’s GDP
KWS Director General Brigadier (Rtd) John Waweru promised enhanced assistance to KWSTI to improve infrastructure and transport means. Others who spoke were, KWSTI Academic and Management Board vice Chair, Maj. (Rtd) William Kamunge, and the acting Principal of the institute, Dr. James Njogu.