Gov’t Moots Policy for Upgrading TVET Skills to University Level

Naivasha – The Kenyan Government is developing a policy aimed at facilitating the upgrading of qualifications obtained through Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), allowing for credit transfer up to university level. This initiative was announced in Naivasha by Dr. Esther Muoria, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training.

According to Kenya News Agency, the policy will enable young people to progress from any TVET institution to the highest level of education, including doctorates, in their respective fields.

During a Multisectoral workshop in Naivasha for an ad hoc committee appointed to review the Kenya Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (KCATS), Dr. Muoria elaborated on the policy’s objective. She emphasized that the new policy would enhance the mobility of young people, encouraging them to further their education and skill sets through continuous learning. The policy aims to facilitate the transfer of credits between different levels of education, thus ensuring progression beyond technical training obtained in TVET institutions.

The Education Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Ezekiel Machogu, in his remarks read by Dr. Muoria, highlighted the significance of this policy in achieving national, regional, and continental aspirations for learner mobility and lifelong learning. Machogu noted that the new system would facilitate the movement of learners across various programs, institutions, and qualification levels, thereby supporting credit transfers, exemptions, and both vertical and horizontal mobility.

The Government of Kenya, according to Machogu, is responding to global demands for education and training that cater to emerging needs and allow for the compatibility and transferability of skills. This initiative is part of a broader commitment to provide inclusive quality education and training aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Cabinet Secretary also pointed out that current global trends demand systems that support lifelong learning.

Dr. Alice Kande, Acting CEO of the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA), stated that the review of the policy framework is timely. It aims to provide quality training to the country’s youth and ensure that no skill or knowledge, whether acquired formally or informally, is wasted. The framework will enable individuals to be awarded diplomas or degrees based on their skills and knowledge, facilitating both vertical and horizontal mobility.

Additionally, the Government is proposing a policy to recognize skills of individuals in the informal sector, such as plumbing and masonry, who lack formal academic qualifications. This policy, coordinated by KNQA, involves a vetting process that will award certificates based on demonstrated competencies. The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is designed to assess and certify competencies against prescribed standards, targeting workers in the informal sector, migrant workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and out-of-school youths.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority acknowledges a severe shortage of quality and relevant skilled workforce in Kenya, attributing this to a mismatch between the skills produced and the needs of the labor market.