The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is a catalyst for social-economy development in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, there is limited information about these sectors. We should strengthen TVET research so as to generate the requisite data and information that would promote a better understanding as well as facilitate evidence-based policy development, monitoring and evaluation in the sector.
The TVET sector in Kenya has been aligned towards creating an inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning. The sector specifically focuses on SDG 4 and 8, which deals with quality education, decent jobs and economic growth for all.
The community of nations has been mandated to meet certain targets aligned to the 17 SDGs by year 2030. These include equal access to affordable and quality TVET programmes, increasing the number of youth and adults with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, elimination of gender disparities in education, and ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development.
This agenda has also been domiciled by the African Union TVET strategy document, which provides a strategic framework for the development of national policies to address the challenges of TVET. The strategy addresses the cross-cutting issues of governance, innovation and creativity, employability and relevance, with the main thrust being development of TVET systems that prepare young people to be job creators rather than job seekers.
A central theme within the continental TVET strategy is the strengthening of global partnerships to support skills development on the continent.
The participation of key stakeholders has been crucial in TVET development and this strategy advocates for a structured and continuous collaboration between the productive sectors, social partners, training institutions and professional associations, among other strategic partners.
The strategy calls for encouragement and support for research in TVET. As it stands, there is limited information available on TVET.
There is need to strengthen TVET research within the continent to ensure availability of data and information that would promote a better understanding as well as facilitate evidence-based policy development, monitoring and evaluation.
TVET research will ultimately lead to the identification of challenges and how to address of gaps in curriculum.
Some of the data required includes academic qualifications and certificates, status of training infrastructure and equipment, enrolment by programme and gender, completion and transition rate.
Others are companies providing apprenticeship, and other types of training, expenditures in labour cost, and work-based learning participation rate. Satisfaction demand for TVET, relevance of quality assurance systems for TVET providers, training of trainers, integration of ICT and satisfaction of employers with TVET graduates.
KIPKURUI LANGAT, Director General TVET Authority.