Chesta Teachers Training College in West Pokot County witnessed its first graduation of 116 graduates in a colorful ceremony presided over by Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang, the area Governor Hon. Simon Kachapin among other area leaders and education officials.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Education PS commended the pioneer students for a job well done citing the many challenges they went through. Belio also reiterated the importance of having technical training institutions. “Middle level human capital from technical training institutions will help us develop our country”, he stated. Mr. Belio encouraged the graduates to adhere to the ethics they have trained to do as they go about their teaching career.
Speaking on the issue of insecurity, the education PS firmly insisted that the only way to end insecurity is to invest on education. He also observed that just as the Chesta TTC students have lived as one despite their different ethnic backgrounds, the Pokot community should also live in harmony with their neighbors. The PS maintained that the Government’s commited in ensuring that no student is sent home for lack of school fees in ASAL areas and areas deemed to be insecure due to communal conflicts. “The government has set aside Ksh.600 million for school feeding program in ASAL areas”, he added. Dr. Belio noted that the county has so far received Ksh.84 million to improve infrastructure in secondary schools hence improving quality of education. He gave examples of schools in West Pokot county that have benefited from the program such as St. Theresa Girls Tartar which received Ksh.5 million, All Saints Boys Cheptarin in Sook received Ksh.10 million and Ortum Boys which received Ksh.4 million among many others.
Speaking at the event, the area Governor H.E. Simon Kachapin congratulated the Board of Management, teachers and students for making the county proud and for showing exemplary leadership skills. “The County has been able to construct four colleges since 2013 which we did not have for the last four years”, he noted. “We now have an ECD college in Kapenguria, Agricultural Training College which is almost complete,Kenya Medical Training College and now Chesta Teachers Training Colege. After independence, it took 14 years to have a secondary school in West Pokot. Currently we have more than 124 secondary schools and in a record 4 years we have constructed more than 50 secondary schools. This is a sure testimony that devolution has transformed this county,” Kachapin noted.
The Governor stated that the TTC stimulates socio-economic development in the area and asked the locals to invest in rental houses. He also thanked the Deputy President, The Jubilee government and the Ministry of Education for funds given to help in setting up the college. Kachapin seconded the Education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang in preaching peace among the neighboring communities. “Education cannot take place along the boarders due to insecurity. Education will bring peace and stability”, he concluded.
The area Member of Parliament Hon. Phillip Rotino asked for more teachers to be deployed to Pokot Central as there is shortage in many schools. He also asked for support from the government in improving infrastructure of current schools.
The College Principal Mr. J.S Surum thanked both the National and County governments for supporting the college right from inception to date. He also thanked the pioneer students and teachers for persevering the harsh conditions they underwent right from inception of the college. “When we first came here there was nothing to show but now as we speak, we have several structures that we are proud of. This place was nothing but a bush”, he said. He however noted several challenges the college is still experiencing such as poor road network, lack of water, lack of staff housing and lack of electricity supply to the school. Mr. Surum congratulated the first graduates of the institutions and wished them well as they begin their new journey of impacting knowledge to the society.
Chesta TTC was registered on 4th of April 2014 and an interim B.O.M was put in place chaired by the then PS for Water Mr. James Teko. The college currently has 38 lecturers and 46 non-teaching staff employed by The B.O.M. Currently the college has 573 regular and 83 school based students making a total of 656.