Shot in the arms for TVETs as Canada firm pledges funding

Winners of the 2019 Innovation Award Joan Kavochi (left) and Peninah Kemunto with a Sh200,000 dummy cheque overall prize presented by PS Kevit Desai. 
A Canadian organisation will support innovation in Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector, thanks to a new joint initiative with the government.

The Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) will work with two Kenyan organisations to fund research projects at TVET institutions that look at ways to improve skills and employability prospects for Kenya’s youth.

The project was made possible by a $1 million (Sh101 million) research grant on promoting employment, entrepreneurship and industry competitiveness in Kenya, from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

CICan is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programmes in over 25 countries.

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Speaking during the eighth Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) International Conference, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Kevit Desai, said the government is committed to enhancing the quality and relevance of TVET.

“This sector is expected to be an enabler in the implementation of the Big Four Agenda. Therefore the government is committed to the ongoing TVET reforms,” Desai said.

CICan will also work with Kenya’s Linking Industry with Academia (LIWA) and Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) to implement the Supporting Innovation in the Technical and Vocational Education Sector: Towards Productivity and Competitiveness (SITVES) project.

This joint initiative will support new or existing innovation centres or research departments in TVET institutions to carry out action-based and industry-oriented applied research in conjunction with local hubs, start-ups, SMEs and the private sector.

According to CICan president and CEO Denise Amyot, fundamental research produces discoveries that can lead to significant contributions.

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“We look forward to working with our Kenyan partners to help address remaining knowledge gaps in the Kenyan TVET sector,” Mr Amyot said, adding “I am confident that by working together, we can make Kenyan institutions more innovative and more responsive to the needs of their private sector partners, while improving access to education to all, including young women.”

The project will be based on three pillars: establishing applied research hubs in collaboration with industry and local government; promoting gender equality in TVET by reviewing policies and designing appropriate resources; and encouraging competitive action research that is problem-based and contributes to local community development.

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TVETColleges and Institutes CanadaTechnical and Vocational Education TrainingCanada