Under the BEAR II project, UNESCO has been supporting the efforts of Member States to enhance the quality and relevance of their technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and to equip all youth and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. This is a key element of the UNESCO global TVET strategy (2022-2029). In contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by strengthening the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Kenya, UNESCO in collaboration with the TVET Authority in Kenya, organized an official handing over ceremony of the publications and policy documents developed through the project to the Government of Kenya for implementation. This event took place on 9 March 2022 in Nairobi and was organized with the support of the UNESCO Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR II) project support in Kenya.
The ceremony was officiated by Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary for TVET at the Ministry of Education of Kenya, UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen and the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Kenya, Mr. Koh Jae Myong. Present also at the ceremony was Mr. Hervé Huot-Marchand, Chief of Section, Youth, Literacy & Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, Mr. Olivier Pieume, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Africa on TVET and Dr. Kipkirui Lang’at, Director General of TVET Authority – Kenya. Others included Mr. Muchiri Mungai, National Director at Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Mame Mor Diarra Ndiaye, the BEAR II Project Regional Coordinator, among other key stakeholders.
In her remarks, Dr. Mwakima acknowledged the support of BEAR II project in developing policies that will guide the TVET sub-sector in Kenya, namely the Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODel) policy, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Policy Framework, Career Guidance and Counseling Framework and Quality Assurance Manuals. She noted with satisfaction the impact of the project that has earned Kenya a great recognition in Africa and globally. She expressed pleasure regarding the impact of the project, noting key innovative results from the project with an establishment of a National Skills Gateway for Kenya that will act as a one-stop platform for sharing necessary TVET information among the youth and other TVET stakeholders in an inclusive manner.
On his part, UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen extended his appreciation to the Republic of Korea, for the important programmatic cooperation with UNESCO on the Better Education for Africa’s Rise, which currently provides support to five Eastern Africa countries, namely Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda. Noting a strange contradiction about Africa’s wealth yet accounting for 70% of the global poor, he identified TVET as a great opportunity in advancing youth employment and acquisition of market driven skills, access to decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning opportunities. Observing how TVET often stood at the bottom of education spectrum and often presented as an option for those who do not have the opportunity to go to university, he encouraged strategic partnerships between the TVET institutions and private sector to ensure a seamless connection between supply and demand.
A progress report of the BEAR II project implementation in Kenya and in the region was presented and the key stakeholders present engaged in discussions and reflections around the implementation of the key project documents and policies developed with the support of the project. The participants at the meeting took some time commemorating the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) in the sidelines of the meeting.
At the closing of the ceremony, Mr. Hervé Huot-Marchand, Chief of Section Youth, Literacy & Skills Development at UNESCO Headquarters, noted the importance of partnership at the national level, especially between the government and private sector in ensuring a move from policy documents to policy implementation for sustainability of the project.
The project builds on national reforms and strategies as well as on UNESCO’s existing work in the region, namely the Mahe Process, to strengthen TVET in Eastern Africa. This includes recommendations to develop quality assurance mechanisms; enhance the quality of TVET teacher training; strengthen the teaching of entrepreneurship, basic and generic skills in TVET; facilitate the transition to self-employment; as well as develop and strengthen partnerships with the private sector.