Will new curriculum boost knowledge transition?


A past graduation ceremony at KCA University in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

Over the years, institutions of learning have been churning out entrepreneurs. There is, however, low application of this knowledge in real enterprises.

Two universities and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) have launched an initiative to address this challenge as they aim to boost establishment of business enterprises in the country.

The YEDF, in partnership with KCA University (KCAU) and the UK- based University of Nottingham (UK), are fast-tracking a project dubbed Co-production for Youth Entrepreneurship in Kenya (CoPYEK).

The project, which is funded by the British Council, first investigated the cause of the low transition from entrepreneurship education offered by institutions of higher learning and entrepreneurship training organisations.

The first phase of the project saw the partners research the effectiveness of entrepreneurship training offered by universities and other business development service providers such as YEDF on the practicability of entrepreneurship in Kenya.

To tame the challenges and equip the youth more, YEDF with its partners have developed a new syllabus after finding out that the existing one had gaps. It was largely theory-based.

“The youth entrepreneurs desired a more practical approach to entrepreneurship learning. YEDF has thus reviewed its curriculum and developed four training modules that we believe will adequately address the needs,” said Victor Mwongera, YEDF Board chairman.

The development of this new curriculum was made possible through funding by British Council under the Innovation for African Universities (IAU) Programme.

“In our research, the youth told us that most of the entrepreneurship learning they had received was heavily theoretical and that certain critical topics ought to be emphasised to smoothen the transition from learning to practise of entrepreneurship,” said Renson Muchiri a lecturer at KCA University.

Judy Muthuri, the University of Nottingham lecturer said the development of the new curriculum was meant to ensure challenges derailing growth of youth businesses are fully tamed.

“IAU is an excellent programme that seeks to support the development of Africa–UK University Partnerships towards building institutional capacity for higher education engagement in entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in selected African countries.” She said.

Besides the review of YEDF and KCA University entrepreneurship curricula, Dr Muchiri said CoPYEK project has also developed a youth entrepreneurship resource hub, an online resource centre for young entrepreneurs.

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