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RVTTI calls for commercialization of TVET skills

The Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) has launched its 8th The Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (AfriTVET), even as board members and other researchers, innovators, and practitioners of education and training led by the Principal Secretary, State Department of Vocational and Technical Training, Dr. Esther Thaara Muoria, called for the commercialization of TVET skills and innovations to realise economic impact in the country and the globe.

AfriTVET is published once a year by the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI), which is the TVET Centre of Excellence in the East African Community and UNEVOC Network Centre and a leading institution in research and annual international conferences from which the papers published herein are derived.

In her speech during the 11th RVTTI international TVET and interdisciplinary conference in Eldoret, read on her behalf by a Director in the State Department for TVET, John Tuwei, the PS said this move was an indication of the good management of the institution and a testimony of commitment towards advancing research and innovation.

Dr. Muoria indicated that the innovations and research areas showcased and presented by TVET trainers and trainees are key to solving real-life challenges that are not only encountered in the local community but also in the whole country.

The PS called upon people of goodwill from the county government, industry players, policymakers, researchers, and leaders to provide hand-holding support to these innovators in order to see the innovations in the market.

“It is sad to note that many of our trainers have been able to come up with breath-taking innovations and research findings, but all these excellent innovations are rotting on the shelves of the TVET institutions,” she decried.

“I urge all the research departments of TVET institutions to keep on moving with speed when it comes to patenting the ideas and innovations of trainers and trainees,” Dr. Muoria added.

The PS also underscored that research and innovation are paramount with the onset of the Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) and Competence-Based Assessment in ensuring that the new system of training and assessment becomes a success.

She noted that CBET is a learner-centred and practical-oriented approach to learning, and there is a need for continuous research activities to facilitate continuous improvement.

“For purposes of inclusivity in TVET, research is crucial in finding alternative methods to support teaching and learning. This requires more research into strategies for adopting e-learning as a method to access TVET and the actualization of CBET,” noted the PS.

She commended the researchers for being role models in the advancement of research, innovation, and knowledge, adding that their efforts will go a long way to ensure Kenya never lurks behind and stays on par with other countries as far as research, innovation, and commercialization are concerned.

On his part, Tuwei, who represented the PS, cited that the commercialization of innovations and research findings is a game changer.

He regretted that much research has been done in life but has not been translated into the value chains to create jobs and earn income.

“Research, Science, Technology, and Innovation are very important, but there is one other ingredient that we need to talk about as TVET, and that is the commercialization of the innovations and research findings. That is a game changer. We need our TVETs to be industry-driven,” he said.

The director reiterated the need for a seamless relationship between the government and the private sector in terms of financing the infrastructure in TVETs.

He expressed pleasure with the exhibitions by the RVTTI trainers and trainees, which he said were in line with the government development agenda.

“When I moved around, I saw everything to do with digitization, one of the pillars of government; I saw everything about affordable housing, universal health coverage, hospitality, and tourism, which is key to the blue economy; I saw everything that is lined to the bottom-up economic transformation agenda,” said Tuwei.

In his remarks, AfriTVET Chief Editor Dr. Samuel Waweru, who represented the board, lauded the conference as it provides a forum for researchers, innovators, and practitioners of education and training to disseminate their findings to an international audience.

He said the journal is gaining popularity as it received 76 papers this year internationally.

Dr. Waweru called upon researchers from both technical institutions and universities to publish in the journal, which is available both online and in hard copy.

RVTTI Board of Governors Chair Prof. David Some indicated that the conference theme, Research, Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Economic Development, is key to fostering an innovative global economy while acknowledging researchers for their contributions to the journal.

“In an era when the world is advancing at an unprecedented pace, the significance of TVETs cannot be overstated, as they provide the requisite skills required for our workforce to thrive in an inclusively technical-driven and innovative global economy,” said Prof. Some.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Velma Lumbasi

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