Over the years, the higher institutions of learning in the country have been accused by employers of producing unskilled graduates who are not ready to conquer the job market.
Recently, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed agreed with the claim saying that there was a lot that had gone wrong and the ministry would spend the whole of this year correcting colleges and university education.
In order to address the issue, the Government has introduced the German dual training system ? extended and mandatory industrial training to design a more skilled workforce.
This will ensure that students studying for diplomas and certificates spend half of the course duration on attachment.
What does this mean?
In the new program, students enrolled for a three-year diploma programme will have to spend one-and-a-half years on industrial attachment.
The new plan will extend the usual three-month industrial attachment to make sure that graduates from middle-level colleges have the necessary skills to increase their chances of securing jobs.
Education experts have continued to fault the current education system for not giving enough practical skills to students before graduation.
According to Director General Dr. Juma Mukhwana of Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA), the new system would see all Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students attached to industries for mandatory internships that will be scored to form part of the overall grading.
The dual TVET system is supported by Germany and was launched in Nairobi this week.
It will be implemented and facilitated through the German Chamber Of Commerce And Industry in partnership with local colleges and industries in Kenya.
Dr. Mukhwana said the system marked a new dawn for training in Kenya and appealed to all institutions and industries to embrace it.
“The KNQA is working with stakeholders to domesticate the curriculum and tailor it to local needs,” he said.
Trainers at the Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC) have already been trained in the new system.
“Some of the considerations that employers make are the quality of education, the culture of the university and the reputation of the university”he says.
The industry stakeholders will also be trained in supervising and scoring students during attachment.
Dr. Mukhwana said the mismatch between training outcomes and market demands had denied many graduates job opportunities.
The program will improve competence levels
The Kenya Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 stresses that skills development among graduates can expand employment for youths and women.
“This has been holding the country back. The new system will increase competence levels and employability for our graduates,” he said.
National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) promised to support the new training plan, which has already started in a few disciplines such as repair and maintenance of mobile devices.
Now, what next?
Following the new program, it is important that you pursue a course of your choice in a reputable and accredited institution.
Remember the college you attend will have an impact on the decisions that employers make when hiring. There are those employers who hire graduates from specific institutions with good credentials.
What do you think about this new program? Will it really equip students with necessary skills? Or it is a waste of time and resources?
Source: Standard Group