Mang’u High School students will receive aviation skills after Kenya Airways donated an aircraft to the institution in partnership with KCB bank.
Under the deal, KCB will spend Sh5 million to facilitate the transfer of the Boeing 737-700 aircraft to the school from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
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Students at the Thika-based institution will use the aircraft to acquire hands-on experience in aviation, in what will prepare them for careers in the aviation industry.
“Through this sponsorship, our goal is to inspire students to take up a career in the aviation sector with a long-term goal of mainstreaming it in our curriculum,” said KCB Group chief executive Paul Russo.
The five-year project is expected to train a critical mass of future air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers, and pilots among others.
Mang’u High School is one of the few schools in Kenya that offer aviation training, focusing on technical skills such as propulsion, thermodynamics and meteorology.
The national school is among the institutions that were selected as the most preferred schools of choice for the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination candidates, amid limited accommodation capacity.
Candidates that score more than 400 marks are assured of places in the national schools.
The school attracted 99,542 applicants among the 2022 KCPE exam candidates against an absorption capacity of 480, an indication that a huge number of students will miss out on their preferred national school.
“We believe that a strong aviation program is essential for preparing students for the future in this field," said Mang’u High School board of management Chairman Anthony Maina.
Training in aviation is mostly offered at Wilson Airport and at the Moi Air Base in Eastleigh in Nairobi.
Government statistics show that Kenya has a deficit of over 2000 pilots and has an ambition of training at least 800 annually in the next five years.
An aggressive expansion by regional airlines and poaching by established international airlines continue to pile pressure on the industry which suffers a massive shortage of skills.
Training a commercial airline pilot takes time, up to three or four years, with the aspiring pilots spending heavily on tuition bills.