The State Department for Vocational Training Principal Secretary Dr Margaret Mwakima has received policy documents developed under Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR II) project to enhance quality, relevance, and perceptions of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) in the country.
The documents were handed over to the PS by the Regional Director and representative of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Prof Hubert Gijzen for implementation.
Speaking during the handover at a Nairobi Hotel, the PS said that the forum provides a glorious opportunity to look back and appreciate the strides made in the country and also in the Eastern African Region in implementing the BEAR II Project.
“The Ministry of Education through the State Department for Vocational and Technical Training in partnership with the Government of South Korea has been implementing the Kenyan chapter of BEAR II project since 2017,” Mwakima stated.
She revealed that the project is in its final year of implementation and a number of policy documents have been developed.
The PS added that the publications whose implementation will enhance quality, relevance, and improve perception and attractiveness of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses among other key outputs are currently available.
Mwakima lauded the BEAR II Project team composed of the Ministry of Education, the Private Sector, and TVET Institutions among other stakeholders for their ability to deliver the project goals and objectives.
“The BEAR II Project aims at creating a positive impact in Kenya by focusing on three key objectives which include enhancing capacities, improving quality and relevance, and creating a positive perception in TVET,” she explained.
According to the PS, the major achievements of this project witnessed during the event include the development of; policies to guide the TVET Sub-Sector in Kenya, the Open Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) policy, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) policy framework, Career Guidance and Counselling Framework, and Quality Assurance Manuals.
She added that the government has witnessed innovative results from the project with the establishment of a National Skills Getaway for Kenya by sharing necessary information among youth and other TVET stakeholders.
Further, Mwakima reiterated that the objective of the Bear II Project is to promote skills development and to produce quality labour force where the skilled persons are expected to make direct input to the achievement of all the 17 Strategic Development Goals because each goal requires human effort with the relevant skills.
“I note with satisfaction that the project has enabled Kenya to start its journey to participate in world skills competitions thus promoting the recognition of skilled youth nationally and globally,” Mwakima remarked.
The PS disclosed that Kenya is expected to participate in the Africa Competition that will take place from 28th March to 2nd April in Namibia with contests ranging from robotics to culinary works.
“Finally, we look forward to enhanced collaborations with partners in providing solutions to emerging challenges as caused by the growing number of youths joining our training institutions,” she said.
At the same time, UNESCO Regional Director, Prof Hubert Gijzen, stated that through TVETs, Africa will catalyze the skills revolution and boost economic growth by poverty reduction, employment of the youth, and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
A representative of the Korean Embassy in Kenya Mr Yeo Sung-Jun, also said that the Korean Government is pleased with the overall implementation status of the project and hopes that the project will continue to develop and improve skills that are relevant for the betterment of entrepreneurial skills in Kenya.
By Mary Wangari and Michael Mulinge