Gachagua to launch policy to recognise skilled workers without formal education

When home-based workers displayed their products in Nakuru on July 15, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Skilled workers with no formal college certificate or university degree are set to get a chance to get recognition.

This is as it emerged that plans are at an advanced stage to launch the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua will Friday next week launch the policy which recognises the skills and knowledge acquired through informal work. 

Once launched, the policy will recognise knowledge, skills, and competencies that have been acquired through practical work over time.

This means, successful skilled workers will now get certificates, diplomas or even degrees depending on the level of expertise they will portray.

The policy was approved by President William Ruto's cabinet in January and will see hundreds of Kenyans awarded certificates based on their practical skills.

It seeks to address a long-standing gap that has seen those working in the informal sector but their contributions haven't been fully recognized within the national framework.

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General Alice Kande said the policy and guidelines will provide standards of assessing and certifying the skills and competencies acquired through experience.

"This will enable our skilled but uncertified youth to be awarded certificates based on individual competencies, expanding their opportunities in employment and advanced learning," Dr Kande said.

The implementation of the policy will act as a bridge to facilitate the transition from informality to formality in the Country and a total of 700 candidates are slated to graduate on Friday.

 The implementation of the policy is a major win for hundreds of learners who had completed their assessment and those who wish to be assessed.

Dr. Kande further argues that the recognition of skilled workers will spur economic growth in the country.

“This seminal opens up a bountiful frontier of new opportunities for the millions of Hustlers who are the lifeblood of the Kenyan economy,” Kande noted.

This RPL framework brings together Basic Education (BE), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), University Education (UE), industrial training and lifelong learning to enable better coordination and harmonization of qualifications across the various sectors.

Like other African countries, Kenya has a large informal sector whose integration into the national development agenda has not been well articulated.

However, the Kenya National Qualifications Framework Act (2014) provides pathways that support the development and maintenance of flexible access to qualifications.

Internationally RPL is used as a tool for lifelong learning through provision of access to higher education.