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Kenya advocates for African qualifications frameworks

Kenya has underscored the need for African countries to develop their own Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs).

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General Dr. Alice Kande noted that these frameworks represent a pivotal step towards advancing education, fostering regional collaboration, and enhancing the global competitiveness of African nations.

“The experiences of countries like Kenya, South Africa, and others which have embarked on this journey provide valuable lessons and insights for others in the region. We have a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue, exchange best practices, and address the challenges that lie ahead in our collective pursuit towards achieving transparency of qualifications and mutual trust between qualification frameworks for lifelong learning in Africa,” said Dr. Kande.

Dr. Kande made the remarks during the ongoing African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF) II training workshop in Nairobi.

“In an era characterised by rapid technological advancements, shifting economic paradigms, and the relentless march of globalisation, the world is duly characterised by complexity and interconnectedness,” said the acting Director General.

She observed that such changes demanded that countries “adapt to evolving continuously, for the pursuit of knowledge and the honing of skills are the compass by which we navigate the uncharted waters of this ever-evolving world. Africa is part of this evolution”.

“Africa is in the intensive process of catching up and staying abreast with the rest of the globe, all at the same time. This is not an easy fit. The qualification frameworks we are maintaining play an integral role in defining the quality and relevance of education in our respective nations,” said Dr. Kande.

She noted that the Kenya National Qualifications Framework (KNQF) stands as a beacon of educational enlightenment for Kenya in the context mentioned, offering structured pathways for learners, professionals, and institutions to keep pace with the change.

“It embodies the belief that learning is not a destination but a lifelong endeavour that is fueled by curiosity and experience, nurtured by dedication, and guided by a commitment to excellence. At its core, the KNQF is comprised of levels, each distinguished by its own unique set of descriptors, representing the knowledge, skills, and competencies attained. These levels are not mere labels; they are operational rungs on the ladder of achievement, guiding individuals through a structured journey of personal and professional development,” said Dr. Kande.

She went on, “First as a country, as a region, and to the greatest extent as a continent, recognising the transformative power of education and its critical role in shaping our future. Keeping in mind the theme of this conference, ‘Making National Qualifications Frameworks Operational in a Changing World,’ this is not only opportune but also imperative. As the world evolves and industries transform, the role of qualification frameworks becomes increasingly crucial.”

Dr. Kande added that the continent must consider issues such as educational reforms, quality assurance, harmonisation and mutual recognition of qualifications, mobility of learners, response to labour market trends, inclusivity, and technological evolutions.

“We can create qualification frameworks that will empower our learners, strengthen our economies, and contribute to the overall well-being of our societies,” said the acting Director General.

KNQA Council Chairperson Stanley Kiptis said the African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF) aims to contribute to the development of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks, in accordance with the objectives of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (2016–2025).

“As a country whose government’s primary priority is the betterment of its population, Kenya is proud to be part of this initiative,” said Kiptis.

He said the Authority would continue to provide advisory services, enhance capacity building, and sensitise stakeholders to ensure that they all understand their role in the implementation of the national qualifications framework.

By Hamdi M. Buthul

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