Experts from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Authorities from three East Africa Community (EAC) countries have started a process of harmonising a curriculum for the region.
The harmonisation process supported by the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) and funded by the World Bank is spearheaded by Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia and is aimed at improving the quality of TVET programmes among member states and promoting regional integration.
Ministry of Education State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, Principal Secretary, Dr Margaret Mwakima said the harmonised qualifications framework would lay a strong foundation for the development of harmonized Occupational Standards and Competence Certification Systems.
“This framework will reduce incidents of time spent by trainees to re-learn in order to reach outcomes expected in other context as well as avail independence in decision making,” said Mwakima.
The PS who was speaking Monday during a workshop on Harmonisation of the Regional TVET Qualifications Framework at a Nairobi hotel, said according to the International Labour Organisation, the labour force participation in Kenya has increased significantly by 6 percent between 2006 and 2019, with a total of 10 percent unemployment and underemployment.
“A Regional TVET Qualifications Framework is an investment to provide increased access and progression in the region and a basis for mutual trust,” she said.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa, Prof. Gaspard Banyankimbona said the harmonisation process is part of component three of the project, which focuses on enhancing regional collaboration in TVET including harmonization of standards and mutual recognition of qualifications in EASTRIP.
Prof. Banyankimbona added that priority areas would include manufacturing, Agro-processing, energy, transport and infrastructure, and Information, Communication and Technology.
He at the same time reiterated that the benefits of free movement of skilled labour among participating TVET institutions and in the EAC region are enormous, and has the potential of addressing the skills gaps and shortage of skills to support economic development.
By Hamdi Mohamud