Churches urged to embrace prior learning policy

Dr. Alice Kande, acting Director General of Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA). [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Religious leaders have been urged to embrace the roll-out of the recognition of prior learning policy (RPL) in the new education reforms.

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director-General Dr Alice Kande said the implementation of recognition of the policy will be crucial in addressing the challenges of falsified academic certificates in the country.

Speaking in Thika during a session with the Alliance of Theological Schools Accrediting and Licensing Commission (ATS), Dr. Kande said the policy set to be launched next month will be a game changer.

“I urge you to seek accreditation as Qualifications Awarding Institutions(QAIs) to be able to assess learners under RPL,” she said.

She explained that RPL is the process of identifying, assessing, and certifying an individual’s knowledge, skills, and competencies against prescribed standards, or learning outcomes regardless of when, where, and how they were acquired.

“The implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be crucial in addressing the problem of fake and academic fraudulent certificates in the country," Dr Kande stated.

The policy which was approved by the government last month paves the way for the recognition of skills, knowledge, and competencies acquired through practical work but which are not supported by academic or institutional qualifications.

The approval process, which started in 2020, is a huge milestone as it now puts in place a functional and credible system for the recognition of skills in the informal sector.

Dr. Kande said the policy will open up a bountiful frontier of new opportunities for millions of Kenyans by facilitating transition from informality to formality between the education system and the labour market.

Last week, it emerged that over 2,000 forged academic papers were used to acquire employment in public service including the Ministry of Interior, and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) among others.

During the forum, the acting Director-General highlighted some of the challenges being addressed by the Authority in the qualifications area such as; a fragmented, uncoordinated, and incoherent education and training system, lack of a National Qualifications accreditation system, and lack of a nationally accepted Quality Assurance system and standard (s) for national qualifications.

Others are the disconnect between Qualifications and actual skill needs in the workplace; poor documentation of qualifications awarded in the country; fraudulent and fake certificates and qualifications and a mismatch between the demand and supply sides.

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