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Amidst COVID-19 Challenges, Humber Builds Capacity for Industrial Plant Operations in Kenya


Trainees carrying out a practical experiment on the Hydraulics Trainer.

April 22, 2021


Humber College played a key role in the training of teachers and lab technicians for a newly developed industrial plant operations program at the Kisumu National Polytechnic (KNP) in Kisumu, Kenya.

The initiative is part of the five-year Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) geared towards strengthening and supporting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Kenya. The project is also in partnership with Global Affairs Canada through Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).


Trainees Benefit from Skills Training and Collaboration

Humber was the lead Canadian institution of the KEFEP-02 Institutional partnership that involved the KNP and other partner institutions. We contributed by training teachers and lab technicians to deliver the newly developed Industrial Plant Operations program level 4 curriculum.  We also worked with subject matter experts in Canada to identify, source and install advanced equipment that could be used to train TKNP faculty members, who would in turn, train students.

The faculty trainees were equipped with the knowledge and skills to operate the newly acquired and installed equipment for the following functions:

  • Follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and comply with Occupational Safety Act (OSHA)
  • Operate Boilers
  • Operate Steam Turbine
  • Operate Hydraulic system
  • Operate Pneumatic system
  • Operate Pump

This was accomplished through skills training and collaboration with industry players and technical support from Canadian colleges’ subject matter.  New teaching techniques, curriculum development, lesson plans and assessment tools that centered around work-integrated learning and student success were also developed during the initiative.  The work was launched in February 2021.

Initially, Canadian subject matter experts and faculty from each Polytechnic had planned to work jointly to build technical capacity on troubleshooting, maintenance and the educational use of the equipment. However, travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic drove Humber to partner with local Kenyan institutions who could provide the technical hands-on training both in-person and online.

Trainees had a total of 10 days of training, six hours a day.  70% of the training was practical and 30% was theoretical. Successful participants received a certificate of training upon completion of the program.


Students to Gain Hands-On Experience from New Program

As a result of this initiative, KNP students will learn greater in-demand skills using the newly installed equipment, from the newly trained faculty members.  These skills will expand the students’ opportunities to find employment, create their own employment or continue their education further.

In particular, they will gain hands-on experience that previously wasn’t possible.

"The faculty trainees were coming across some of the equipment they had never handled before and for that reason, they gained what we really expected of them because they're the people who will be exposing our students to this equipment,” said Arthur Omondi Adipo, Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering, KNP. “Some of them had been in the industry. They appreciated that most of the equipment we had here are the same equipment that are found in the industry.”

“I think this will go a long way in changing the attitude towards teaching these practical subjects. Because now they can afford to be hands-on, they can actually bring their students to the lab and demonstrate some of the skills that in the past we have only been reading in the books" said Omondi.

By increasing opportunities for academic schools to leverage expertise globally through international development projects, Humber’s contributions also align with its Internationalization Strategy.


Trainees gaining hands-on experience through pumps and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) practical training.