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UNESCO set to improve technical training 




UNESCO, jointly with the Republic of Korea, will improve the relevance, quality and perception of Technical Vocation Education and Training (TVET) systems through an ambitious programme targeting young Kenyans.

The programme, estimated to cost about Shs.150 million will give young people a better chance of finding decent employment or create self-employment.

UNESCO Mission, led by the Chief of the Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development, Borhene Chakroun, met the Principal Secretary for Education Dr. Belio Kipsang in Jogoo House to appraise the ministry on the scope of the programme.

Through an initiative codenamed, The Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEARII), UNESCO, and the Republic of Korea will give young Kenyans a chance to access decent employment and generate self-employment by improving the quality and relevance of TVET systems in Kenya

In a press statement sent to newsrooms on Tuesday, Chakroun said the initiative would support Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda to reform their systems, by addressing issues of relevance, quality and attractiveness of TVET pathways for young learners.

Chakroun said the initiative would support Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda to reform their TVET systems, by addressing issues of relevance, quality and attractiveness of TVET pathways for young learners.

On his part, Dr. Kipsang said the youth had poor perception of technical training, and most avoided taking up courses that ensured they secured skills that the job market required.

He said conversion of middle level colleges that provided TVET courses into Universities seemed to reinforce the wrong perception that society regarded university education, regardless of the area of specialization, as more important than TVET.

The PS said the Curriculum Reform initiative the government was undertaking provided room for TVET where students with the ability and interest in the path could be assisted to nurture their skills.

However, Dr. Kipsang said that the government had shifted policy and was now modernizing and expanding TVET institutions to address the skills gap in the job and employment market.

He said the programme would help the country in terms of strengthening the quality, relevance of TVET and also address the question of perception.

The programme plans to connect industry and sustainable development needs with TVET programs, improve the quality of training through improved institutional management, training of teachers, qualifications and curricula reforms, and provision of relevant resources and equipment.

“It also plans to improve the perception and attractiveness of TVET pathways, through development and implementation of skills competition, appropriate career guidance and counseling, and by removing dead-ends,” he said.

Chakroun said the initiative follows the first BEAR project from 2011 – 2016 in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia and Zambia, which comprise the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

He said it yielded positive and meaningful outcomes in the region by inducing significant structural and methodological changes in the way TVET was delivered and managed in the beneficiary countries.

Present during the occasion were the Secretary General of Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Evangeline Njoka and the Director of Technical Education, Mursal Bashir.

By  Joyce  Lutomia

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