The Kenya National Qualifications Authority will now recognize certificates issued to jua-kali artisans who pass practical tests conducted by various authorities.
KNQA Director Dr Juma Mukhwana observed that thousands of masons, plumbers, electricians, and mechanics among others who were making significant contributions to the economy have acquired their skills in the informal and non formal sectors.
Under the new arrangement, the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Board (KASNEB), Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) and Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) will issue academic certificates based on practical performance as opposed to written examinations.
This effectively means that a jua kali trained, tailor, carpenter, mechanic, sculptor or a plumber who has never sat in a formal classroom or Technical Educational and Vocational Training Institutes (TVETS) may be issued with a recognized certificate just as his counterparts who have undergone years of formal training.
This is however subject to condition that one must practically demonstrate that he or she possesses the requisite skills before a relevant examination body
Dr Mukhwana said the Government is working on a policy where artisans will be given an opportunity to showcase practical capabilities in their respective areas of expertise before being issued with certificates to enable them seek employment in both formal and informal sectors.
These assessments will be rolled out within the next three months.
The KNQA director noted that most of these skilled people have never been to school but their competencies are running this country.
He said various skills will be tested in industries, Universities or TVET institutions that have necessary machinery, equipment, personnel and expertise spread across the country.
Dr Mukhwana said The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) was working with other stakeholders to introduce Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) in Technical Vocational Education Training.
Peter Njeru from the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) said the Government and the private sector are collaborating to ensure that the curriculum developed by Sectors Skills Advisory Committees (SSACs) is aligned to the competencies required for national development.
Njeru noted that creativity and innovation were central with the new curriculum, and challenged both public and private sector players to ensure that the market systems reacted to innovations to tap from what the technical institutions would produce.
He said the Country had a huge potential to achieve modern industrial and economic status through aligning markets systems to promote innovation, science and technology.