The newly appointed Principal Secretary for the State Department for Technical and Vocational Training in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Julius Jwan has said that the government is determined to get rid of the notion that Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions are for students who did not excel in the national exams.
Speaking at Jogoo House in Nairobi while taking over the State department of TVET from the outgoing Principal Secretary, Dr. Kevit Desai, who has moved to the State Department of East African Community, Jwan said his ambition is to see that everyone who undergoes education in Kenya has something to offer to the country.
Dr. Jwan who was the CEO of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) before his new appointment said those seeking training in TVET institutions will not be subjected to the grade they attained in the national examination as long as their vision is to acquire skills at TVET institutions.
“We are working closely with small and medium enterprises, the Jua Kali sector and the Federation of Kenya Employers to ensure that the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) does not end up just as a theoretical framework. This can only be achieved by empowering the TVET sector,” said Dr. Jwan.
The PS said that the department plan is to see at least 800,000 youths join the employment market every year, a move he said will solve the unemployment challenge in the country.
He announced that plans are underway to establish six centres of excellence to promote the technical sector among them the Thika Technical Institute which will be the centre for Motor Vehicle Assembly, Nairobi Technical Institute which will be the centre for Motor Vehicle body building and Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology a Center for food and beverage noting that the ministry is still identifying the other three centres.
In his remarks Dr. Desai said during his two year tenure, the department managed to create 30 new TVET institutions across the country, in a bid to ensure that each constituency had at least one institution.
Desai said that the State Department of Technical and Vocational Training is planning to harmonize TVET standards in Kenya to match the entire East African Community, a move he said will create room for more opportunities and boost the employment market.
“The President of Germany is in support of our TVET programme and his government has offered further 24 million Euros to promote the programme,” he added.
The Chief Administrative Secretary for Education, Zack Kinuthia emphasized that TVET institutions are well equipped and urged youths to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire technical skills that will enable them become self-reliant.
Earlier, Dr. Julius Jwan handed over the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joel Mabonga who is the Senior Deputy Director, the Corporate Services at KCID.
During the ceremony Dr. Jwan who has been instrumental in creating awareness about the CBC said the curriculum is an improved version of the 8-4-4 system of education that is meant to help learners gain practical skills, values, and competencies that can enable them think beyond formal jobs.
He appealed to teachers and parents to refer to the Orange book available on KICD Website, which has a list of the books that the Institute has approved for use in schools.
Dr. Mabonga promised to steer ahead the ongoing curriculum reforms in line with the KICD mandate, saying that his appointment has comes at a time when the country is keen to see the uptake of the CBC in middle school.
“I pledge to do my best to maintain the momentum set by Principal Secretary, Dr. Jwan. As a team no heights will be insurmountable,” Dr. Mabonga said.
KICD is in preparing for roll out the CBC in grade five following a successful implementation from Pre-primary 1 and 2 and grades 1 to four.
By John Kinyua/ Bernadette Khaduli