Benand Otieno and Winnie Grace from St. Joseph Technical Institute showcasing their talent during the national TVET fair last year. [George Kaimenyi, Standard] All 47 county governments will have to establish and manage a technical and vocational training centre, according to a Bill that is before the Senate. The proposed law by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang' also gives the devolved units powers to license these centres in their areas of jurisdiction. Education stakeholders are currently in Naivasha for a meeting convened by the Senate to establish a legal framework for the County Vocational Education and Training Bill, 2022. State Department for Technical Vocational and Education Training (Tvet) Principal Secretary Esther Mworia is leading a team of experts in putting up a strong case during the two-day retreat that started on Tuesday and ends today. The committee is chaired by Murang'a Senator Joe Nyutu and deputised by Nominated Senator Peris Tobiko. Yesterday, Dr Mworia made a presentation on the Tvet landscape in the country, general overview of the Tvet sector, legal, policy and institutional framework, functions and mandate of the State Department, major projects and programmes, and legislative gaps, among others. Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General Alice Kande made a presentation on establishment, licensing, registration and accreditation of Tvet institutions, and organisation and management of vocational education and training institutions. Other areas touched on included regulation, recognition of quality assurance and accreditation of programmes as well as examination, harmonisation and standardisation of training qualifications. Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu directed Dr Mworia and semi-autonomous agencies in the ministry, including KNQA and the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service to ensure that the Tvet agenda remains robust and is able to spur the economy through production of well-trained youth. There were presentations from officials of Tvet Authority, National Industrial Training Authority, and the Council of Governors. The County Vocational Education and Training Bill, 2022 provides a framework to formulate and implement county programmes to ensure the availability, accessibility and effective delivery of training courses. The Bill also gives counties room to govern the establishment and management of vocational education and training, including staffing and supervision. "Each county government shall, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, establish and maintain such vocational education and training centres. "Each county executive member shall, in consultation with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, establish a mechanism for the identification of trainees with disabilities and put in place such measures as may be necessary to ensure access to and provision of vocational education and training to trainees with disabilities," reads the Bill. The county governments are also mandated to carry out public awareness and advocacy programmes. The Bill also gives conditions that counties will be expected to meet before they are allowed to establish a vocational training centre. They will be responsible for hiring competent staff who will oversee operations of the institutions. The centre managers will equip the institutions with the necessary learning materials and hire tutors who will administer the curriculum and provide quality service to learners. According to the Bill, the Education CS will, at his discretion, develop the required evaluation standards for learners which may include examinations and certification as well as co-curriculum activities. The Cabinet secretary will also be mandated to accredit any institution that meets the required programme standards. The counties will also be allowed to enter into cooperation with individuals or religious institutions to sponsor or establish a vocation institution. "A sponsorship arrangement entered into under subsection (1) shall be for the enhancement of vocational education and training programmes and contribute directly or indirectly to the quality of vocational education and training administered in the vocational education and training centre," reads the Bill. But there are two caveats: First, "A sponsor shall not compromise the implementation of any law applicable to the vocational education and training centre or compromise the professional standards and ethics of instructions in a vocational education and training centre." Secondly, "Notwithstanding the fact that the sponsor of a vocational education and training centre is a faith-based institution, the curriculum in the vocational education and training centre shall be secular." The Bill restricts operation of any vocational training centre unless it is licenced under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Act. All administrators of the institutions will be required to keep data of all their instructors. In addition, vocational education and training centres will have to keep updated data on assets and liabilities, and integrated development plans for inclusion in the County Integrated Development Plans.