Machogu says TVETs reforms underway to align trainees to market demands

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu. 

Kenya's Technical And Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is undergoing major reforms aimed at revitalizing the sub-sector and addressing labour market demands. The reforms are based on the findings of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that the Working Party recommended periodic review of the TVET curriculum to ensure its relevance to the dynamic needs of the job market. He also emphasized the importance of close and robust linkages and connections between TVET institutions and the industry.

One of the key recommendations of the task force was rolling out Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) which entails identifying, documenting, assessing and certification of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired through previous training, work, or life experience.

Machogu said that his ministry has worked to revive the TVET Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (TVET-CDACC). The TVET-CDACC is expected to perform its statutory mandate of designing and developing flexible, learner-centred and industry-driven TVET curricula for TVET institutions.

By acknowledging skills and experiences of individuals, Machogu said the RPL policy will allow for a more inclusive and flexible education system.

“The ongoing reforms represent more than just a set of policy and legal actions. They are the building blocks of a brighter future for our TVET sub-sector and our nation at large.By effecting these reforms, we will instill dynamism, relevance and inclusivity in our TVET sub-sector,” he said.

He added: “We will also be able to create a workforce that is skilled and versatile, ready to face the changing challenges of the present and the future.”

Principal Secretary of the State Department for TVET Dr Esther Muoria said all TVET institutions are already implementing Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) programmes.

She said the retooling of trainers has also begun.

Finland Ambassador to Kenya Pirrka Tapiolla, who lauded Kenya for making great strides in TVET said three things are key for TVET success in Kenya and they include private sector collaboration, quality of education and inclusion both in gender and disability matters.

"Closer collaboration with industry is really absolutely necessary to ensure relevance and adaptability of TVET. As the world of work evolves, so do skills which are needed in the labour market. Strong TVET-industry linkages ensure students supply skills that employers are looking for," he said.

Germany Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Alexander Fierley reiterated the importance of equipping youth with the essential skills, addressing youth unemployment, and ensuring socio-economic stability within the nation lies primarily with TVETs.

“However, it is equally vital for companies and business membership organisations to play their role in the skill development of the country's youth. They should collaborate closely with the TVET sector, both at the organisational level and on a broader scale,” he said.