Uneducated Skilled Persons To Be Awarded Qualification Certificates By Government
The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) has confirmed plans to award academic certificates to Kenyans who have over time acquired hands-on skills without formal training.
Among those to be officially recognised and awarded qualifications minus formal training are carpenters, mechanics, plumbers or salonists, in an exercise scheduled to begin in August.
Their work experiences will be evaluated and rewarded under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), in an elaborate plan to nurture talent and spur economic growth.
Members of the steering committee that will spearhead the exercise are; Representatives from Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (CEDAC), National Industrial Training Institute (NITA) and Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).
Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu), office of TVET Principal Secretary, Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Association (KNF JKA), Kenya Engineering Technology Registration Board (KETRB) and the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) will also form part of the steering committee.
“We have worked on policies for RPL for long and now it’s time to start the implementation,” said KNQA chairman, Dr Mukhwana.
Mukwana disclosed that tender for the development of RPL information management system has been floated and will soon be awarded.
International Labour Oraganisation (ILO) chief technical advisor Caroline Njuki said the organisation will work with the government and workers unions to ensure realisation of RPL.
Details show that the committee will now develop practical steps to help millions of Kenyans to acquire higher academic levels by rewarding skills acquired over time.The committee will fine-tune ways of implementing the RPL policy that was developed by the KNQA.
KNQA has published 10 qualifications levels and standards that will make it easier for candidates to progress from lower levels of education to higher levels.
In case a mechanic, carpenter, hairdresser, plumber, welder or mason gets assessed and found with the right abilities, their skills will be equated to Level Three., which is an equivalent of a certificate holder. This will then allow the students to progress to Level Four, which results to an artisan certificate qualification.
If the same student opts to progress further, he or she will move to Level Five to obtain a craft certificate, then Level Six, which results in diploma certificate qualification. The student can further progress to Level Seven to obtain degree qualifications and also move to Level Eight which gives him post-graduate diploma or certificate. Levels nine and 10 result to master’s degree and doctorate degrees respectively.
This now means that Kenyans who have acquired such skills – even without proper education backgrounds – will be able to approach a relevant training college or qualification awarding institutions (QAIs) and apply for recognition of their skills that would lead to highest level of education and skilling.
Interested Candidates will be required to identify a college of their choice, then upload their profile on an online system, including their portfolio.
Facilitators appointed by the college will assess candidate’s suitability for a specific qualification, provide the necessary information about learning outcomes and competency standards required for the qualification and the nature of evidence required.
Evidence will include recommendation letters, samples of candidate’s work and product, videos and/or photographs of work activities, skills or job descriptions, Details of formal training, records of seminars, conferences and workshops attended, resume and performance appraisals or testimonials from current or previous employers and customers.