Substantial systemic change that moves people towards the right direction through policies that beacons a nation build on beguiling citizenry that have the ability to have credibility in the education sector is paramount. Global mobility is not just a trend; it is here to stay. Even in the most remote of parts of a country, labor moves across international borders. A blue print for transforming Africa into the global power house Agenda 2063 details the aspirations for Africa in the run up for the year 2063, with eyes set on revolution of education and skills driven by science, technology, research and innovation as one of the key aspects to building the resources, knowledge, human capital, capabilities and skills required for the modern Africa.
The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) is aligning its qualifications framework to ensure that Kenyan qualifications can spread across the continent because its impossible to frame business without skills moving, this will create global competitiveness and anchor Kenya as a center of training and education within the African continent.
The increasing importance that Africa is attaching to TVET is reflected in the policies and strategies that the Africa Union (AU) has recently rolled out to promote TVET training. Many studies have concluded that education systems in many African countries are flawed and the neglect of TVET is an obstacle to continental development. To Address these challenge, the Kenya Credit Accumulation Transfer System (KCATS) will help create harmony and coherence in sectors that were training in silos. This will enable TVET learners have a flexible system that embraces quality. CATS system in the country will help in facilitating linkages, credit transfer, exemptions, offer a vertical and horizontal mobility in all the levels of learning and enable entry, re-entry, and exit in the education and training in the country. The CATS system is expected to promote mobility and progression of learners both internationally, nationally and globally which will enhance transparency recognition of the quality of qualifications offered in Kenya and enhance globalization of qualifications in the country.
To promote achievement of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063:The Africa we want, a well coordinated and harmonized education and training sector is crucial in the production of human resources required for implementing Kenya’s Vision 2030. The Chairman KNQA Board Dr. Kilemi Mwiria noted that “the current Kenyan education and training system is fragmented leading to varied quality of qualifications offered by different sub systems and by different education and training institution. Because of this process and levels, its very cumbersome and sometimes unclear what learners get out of the system. He noted that the growing demand for education and training has triggered the establishment of many educational and training institutions and alternative modes of delivery offering both local and foreign qualifications whose comparability is very difficult to discern; and as a result, the KNQA has been mandated by Act no 22 of 2014 to promote better coordination and harmony among the various players in the education and training sector in Kenya.”
CEO Dr. Juma Mukhwana, reiterated the chairs comment addressing the challenge of quality and relevance of qualifications, asserting that “KNQA is in the process of setting up an accurate and robust database of all qualifications attained in Kenya and foreign institutions, that will recognize prior learning and facilitate credit Accumulation and Transfer system at all levels of education in the country allowing for comparability and information sharing in the education sector and globally.”
The Country is moving towards a Competency Based Curriculum. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will help aid skillful manpower that can be able to bring on board other courses where expertise is lacking through regular training. Speaking during the validation and launch of the strategic plan the P.S Vocational & Technical Training(VTT) Dr. Julius Jwang represented by Acting Director VTT Tom Mulati stated that “KNQA has made strides towards addressing the underlying challenges facing the education sector and that the strategic plan will enable Kenya meet its international obligation.
He applauded the participatory approach of stakeholders and the Authority in launching the RPL Policy that aims to develop a responsive and equitable education and training system that will facilitate access, mobility, progression and fair chances to the disadvantaged, discouraged and traditionally marginalized groups, targeting different categories of learners or potential candidates in the society seeking access to certification in Kenya regardless of ones educational background, age, status in society, disability, race , religion or nationality.
The P.S informed the participants that the system will provide for assessment and certification of a persons prior learning, placing emphasis on the fact that TVET training can take place in the classroom, at the place of work, informal setting and in industry fostering relevance to students from many socio-economic background, thereby holding the key to the continents quest to wrestle poverty and create prosperity for all.”
The authority pledged to support national education reforms aimed at improving quality and relevance of the education offered, the equity of learning and the learning outcome to ensure those who come out from education institutions nationally and internationally are able to equitably compete for available resources in the form of jobs and other opportunities hence Improving coordination of the education and training. The ministry of education is making efforts to ensure education plans are a national success and that the policy’s developed will Serve as a bench mark to make education and training more effective, reliable, fair and transparent to learners. This shall be made possible by ensuring that the system that is developed is regulated, maintained and enhanced by quality assurance agency and qualifications awarding bodies.
By Kelins Randiek