Authority says forged academic papers still pose threat to country

The government body now says there is need for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to set pace in curricula development, training, and assessment to ensure targeted training for increased employability.

Principal Secretary, State Department for TVETs, Esther Muoria, said regularisation and a review of existing regulations will ensure that qualifications awarded in the country meet the international standards of the labour market.

Speaking at a retreat in Mombasa to review the strategic plan of the KNQA Council, Dr Muoria said the establishment of a comprehensive qualifications database to address the existing challenges of counterfeit credentials is crucial.

"By establishing a comprehensive qualifications database, we will address the pervasive issue of counterfeit credentials," she said, adding that this will ensure opportunities are granted solely to those possessing verifiable evidence eliminating fraudulent certificates.

The PS urged the authority to ensure institutions provide objective qualifications and skills that will uphold the integrity of academic and qualification systems.

"I urge you to align the plan with the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda with regard to creating decent opportunities for all, thus creating a just and equitable society," said Dr Muoria.

KNQA acting Director General, Dr Alice Kande, said the plan is tailored to the current government's priorities, although still greatly dependent on the economical and the political pillars of vision 2030 and medium-term plan IV.

"Lifelong learning is currently one of the driving factors of the Kenyan curriculum, from basic education to the highest levels of learning," said Dr Kande.

"The journey towards better coordination and harmony in the education and training system begun earnest when the KNQF Act came into force and when KNQA was established to implement the framework," she added.

Dr Kande said the Authority will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that quality education and qualifications are enhanced in the country.

The PS stated that flexibility, innovation and execution matter much more than decades-old qualifications or work experiences with the emerging technology era.

Dr Muoria further emphasised the crucial role played by the Authority in the development and implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.

The document was formulated by the State Department for TVET and partners, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Upon implementation, it will re-focus and re-articulate the strategic direction of KNQA for the next five years, take stock of the successes, challenges and lessons learned.

The PS called for concentration on foregrounding lifelong learning, skills development and emphasising on mechanisms that ensure quality and relevant qualifications will revolutionise the sector.

KNQA Council acting chairperson, Rosemary Njogu, said the authority is at an advanced stage to put in place a fully-equipped and up to date National Learner's Records Database.

"We have developed a couple of national policies, standards and guidelines to implement the framework. We have carried out stakeholder sensitisation and continued to give the framework international visibility," she added.

Njogu said the journey towards better coordination and harmony in the education and training system began when the KNQA Act came into force which established KNQA to implement the framework.

She further said while the strategic plan should be tailored to the government's priorities, it will basically peg on the economical and the political pillars of vision 2030.

"Our strategic plan zeros into the social pillar of this vision by a great extent which blends well with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This specific focus on Goal 4 emphasises on the need for quality education and aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education," she stated.

She said a total of 10-level national qualifications frameworks are set by the authority which allows for articulation, classification, accreditation, quality assurance, assessment and examination of national qualifications.