TVET enhanced by South Koreans in three-year programme

TVETs struggle to find jobs and internships because candidates must be retrained

In Summary

• Programme aims to improve and develop competency of TVET instructors’ teaching methods and curriculum.

• South Koreans through Global Civic Sharing are implementing first phase of Youth and Women Empowerment , benefitting TVETS.

Some experts from South Korea at a training activityfor TVET instructors
SKILLS MISMATCH: Some experts from South Korea at a training activityfor TVET instructors

South Korean experts are implementing a three-year programme to upgrade Technical and Vocational Education Training in Kenya.

The programme aims to improve and develop TVET in turn passing it on to learners.

The experts through the Global Civic Sharing initiative are implementing the first phase of the Youth and Women's Empowerment Programme. TVETs will benefit.

The programme will cover 2022 to 2024 and is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica). Its flagship fellowship programme is Capacity Improvement and Advancement for Tomorrow (Ciat).

The experts have been carrying out capacity-building sessions that started in Nairobi targeting 20 TVET working-level officials and instructors from Kakamega county. 

Education experts led by professors Kim Duk Ho, Lee Ji-yeon and Lee Eun-bae have emphasised the importance of competency-based education for young men and women.

“Our main focus is the young population and women because they form the future of country especially concerning manpower,” Professor Kim said. Joo Yong-choi was present representing Global Civic Sharing.

The experts said there was a race between technology and education. Whenever technology is ahead of education, then many graduates, especially from the TVET sector, experience a skills mismatch in the job market. 

“Companies are spending a lot of money in re-training graduates from TVET institutions to fit their job descriptions and meet the technology needs," Kim said.

"Hence, they end up failing to create more jobs."

He said, however, that with competency-based education,  young men and women will be able to get skills at younger ages and match the technologies used in industry."

Prof Lee Ji-yeon said competency-based education is best for learners who are still young and will help mould their growth easily in education, especially in the TVETs and tertiary curriculum.

She said the future of education and skills calls for a holistic concept of competency involving a balance of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to to meet the complex demands of the modern workplace. 

The experts also said  TVETs and other tertiary institutions need to work very closely with industries and companies as  the major stakeholders in curriculum development.

She said regular curriculum reviews were necessary, based on  job market analysis.

“This has great potential in addressing unemployment among young men and women graduating from TVET institutions,"she said.

Zakayo Mutonga,  acting manager at the National Industry Training Authority (Nita) Athi River Centre, said many TVET institutions struggle to find internships and jobs for their learners and graduates.

He said the solution is partnering with industries that need their graduates and interns.

He said  the NITA Athi River Centre has benefited greatly from such partnerships as they no longer worry about internships for their learners.

Their flagship partnerships include fashion design with EPZ, E-waste management with CSFK & WEE Centre, plumbing with Trident Plumbers and auto electrics with Hyundai Dream Centre.

(Edited by V. Graham) 

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star