Four years ago, the Bahati Vocational Training Center began making huge strides to increase enrollment. At the time there were only 30 students and females in the group were showing scant interest in courses predominantly associated with men; like masonry and electrical wiring.
Today things are a lot different. Enrollment has increased 200 percent with an average of 100 students per year. Female student enrollment has increased by 40 percent and their vocational preference is shifting. The center has seen an increase in female interest towards studying plumbing, masonry; and electrical wiring courses. These huge gains are a direct result of the Behavior Change Campaign spearheaded by the K-YES Program.
“As a result of the campaigns, we have managed to combat the stigma surrounding vocational training,” said Kepha Nyamwembe, the manager of the training center.
“Initially, many students viewed vocational training with much disdain. They regarded the institutions as a place for failures. So far, our collaboration with K-YES is bearing fruits.”
The center is among many others in counties with a K-YES presence that completed the campaign on how to change the perception towards vocational training and increase enrollment.
The training revolves around branding and messaging that helps to alleviate the stigma that surrounds vocational training, and best practices of how to package and disseminate content.
For example, before the campaign the center did not have any signs placed in strategic places. It had invested less in IEC materials (banners, calendars and brochures) and did not have a presence online.
Three years after the campaign began, the results are tangible. The center has invested in appropriate signage, produced and disseminated quality IEC materials, developed a website and implemented behavior change through key messaging aimed at demystifying vocational training.
The center is also among 17 other institutions that received a grant of over $300,000 for the acquisition of learning materials and preparation of a strategic plan. The institution has also previously benefited from a one-million-dollar donation from RTI International that led to renovations for better learning.
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