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EAC to Harmonize TVET curriculum.

Experts from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Authorities from three  EAC countries have started a process of coming up with a harmonized curriculum for the region.

The harmonization supported by the  East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) funded by World bank and is spearheaded by Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia to improve the  quality of TVET programmes among member states  and promote regional integration.

Speaking  to KNA during the  meeting in Nairobi, Director Technical Education at the Ministry of Education Tom Mulati said harmonization of skills through the curriculum will target  critical sector like the manufacturing, transport, energy, ICT and Blue economy.

“we are harmonizing the qualifications across the region, harmonizing  the curriculum and also harmonizing  the  occupational  standards across the region and this  will help the TVET institutions  and graduates be able to have greater mobility  across the region in terms of  employability  and  even in terms of training”, he said.

Mulati explained that once the curriculums are harmonized , the examinations  and mode of assessment will also be harmonized  making it easy for the region.

“ The outcome of  the harmonized  curriculum, occupational standards and harmonized qualification frameworks will see the level  of qualifications in Kenya  equal  to those in Ethiopia and  also Tanzania “, he said .

students at a tvet college in kenya.

The Director further said that they are involving the industry in the process in order to get it right in terms of when the graduates complete their education they are able to get into the industry whether self or gainful employment in an easier way.

Mulati confirmed that the Inter Council University of East Africa ( IUCEA)will be   spearheading the process doing all the baseline surveys and information gathering .

In Kenya  institutions that have been earmarked  in starting off the project are the Meru National polytechnic,  Kenya  Coast national polytechnic ,  Kenya institute of  building and highways training and Kisumu national polytechnic .

Deputy Executive Secretary  of IUCEA , Mike Kuria said their aim is to   major on three things namely improve access for education especially for women at the technical level who in this field representation is quite low, improve the quality of education and also employability.

“ The population in the country  stands to around 47 million people and 60 percent of the people are below 25 years of age and employment rate among those people is very high and this is why  this project is trying equip the students with the right skills so that they are able to find employment and hopefully we can reduce employability  through giving students skills that are relevant for the labour market”, he said .

The project  through regional integration Kuria will see students be able to move from move from one country to the other  and their qualifications  accepted because what currently there is so much  imbalance of skills in the different  countries

Dr. James Jowi, Principal Education officer art the East Africa community (EAC ) Secretariat said  at EAC they are undertaking  harmonization of education curriculums  structures, examinations standards and quality and one of the cycles they are harmonizing is the TVET sector.

“We have already harmonized, primary, early childhood, teacher education,  and now finalizing on the TVET education “, he said that the reason behind the harmonization is to respond to  youth employability in the region.

Standardization of TVET Dr. Jowi said will further allow facilitation mobility of students and professionals that have been trained within the TVET sector.

“What this standardization means for the youth in the EAC is that there will be increased chances for access and once standardized, students can learn in other countries  have internship opportunities , employability and also sharing of teachers through even Centre of excellence”, he said

Richard Muteti CEO of Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali associations  said project is bringing in a transformation approach towards enhancing the quality and accessibility of the TVET sector in EAC.

One of the issues that has been hindering the growth of small businesses and especially the artisans  is technology in modern skills, so under this programme focusing on enhancing the quality and accessibility  there is a lot of industry involvement.

Once the TVET integrates with the jua kali sector and through harmonization Muteti  noted that the Jua Kali sector will be able to get certificates through the CBET and be recognized in the region  and seeing  lot of exportation of labour

“The sector currently is producing around 800,000 jobs per year , and once we get the regional opportunity  we will jump to 2 million’, he said noting that involvement of the EAC in the IUCEA is upgrading  their thinking and mindset and soon people will see a big difference in  how jua kali sector is manufacturing their products.

The regional TVET meeting is the initial step towards the development of the policy and guidelines of TVET. EAC has witnessed increased demand for technical and vocational skills as a mean of technology transfer and upgrading skills for workers.


By  Wangari Ndirangu and Diana Wambulwa

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