The Kisumu National Polytechnic hosted the Western cluster of Kenya national polytechnics and their Canadian counterparts during an orientation seminar that commenced the institutional partnership on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
The Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP), Ministry of Education and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) organized the event. Through the program, KEFEP will support partnerships with ten Kenyan institutions to design and deliver modularized, gender-sensitive, competency-based programs in the energy and agricultural sectors.
In attendance were leaders of various institutions led by KEFEP representatives Moritz Shmidt (Senior Technical Advisor/CICan representative), Catherine Paquin (Senior Program Officer), Mr Athanus Mokaya, Chief Principal at Kisii National Polytechnic, Ms Emily Maina, Deputy Director, Ministry of Education and Kisumu National Polytechnic Principal Mrs Joyce Nyanjom who was host.
The program is structured to build capacity of Kenya’s technical and vocational training institutions and agencies to aid employment and job creation for graduates. In line with the Ministry of Education priority of providing education guided by the principles of access, equity, equality and relevance, the Kenyan government through the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training shall work closely with partner institutions, members of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and ten local technical colleges, to deliver the objectives.
The KEFEP program involves a three-year partnership to be implemented between September 2017 and August 2020 to result in the training and graduation of 1200 female and male students from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses in the energy and agricultural sectors.
Kenyan institutional partners including representatives from the Ministry of Education, TVET Authority, Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) developed the institutional partnerships before selecting the Canadian partners based on a competitive procedure to ensure that they will meet the terms of reference and expectations of the project.
In Kenya, the TVET Act of 2013 created national polytechnics thus necessitating a widening of mandate. Subsequently, in 2014 the Cabinet Secretary for Science and Technology promulgated the Kisumu National Polytechnic (TKNP) Order which contained and outlined this wider mandate. TKNP forms part of the W estern cluster of polytechnics that also includes Kisii and Sigalagala National Polytechnics. The Canadian college partners include Humber College which is the lead partner, Durham College, Victoria Island University and Selkirk College.
Each polytechnic will have a direct partnership with a Canadian institution on specific areas that to be identified in collaboration with industry and local communities then implemented according to the work plan. The local institutions will also benefit from Canadian funding for applied research projects, equipment and support through trainings and consultancies.
To maximize the project impact for remote populations, the partners will have mentorship programs with the smaller vocational training institutions such as the Youth Polytechnics. The mentees and institutional staff shall also benefit from trainings, hence spreading the trickle-down effect.
The partnership drawing from the expertise of both the Canadian and Kenyan colleges and institutes allows an exchange of knowledge on a wide range of institutional practices, policies and procedures and provides the foundation for developing and implementing the new CBET programs.
The team will soon conclude a work plan to guide its schedule and kick-start the actual training. At the end of the project period in August 2020, it is projected that the ultimate outcome will be increased economic opportunities for graduates from TVET institutions in Kenya and for the Kisumu National Polytechnic as well.