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CS Machogu to inaugurate KCATs team experts Monday

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu (FILE)

A team of experts tasked with the responsibility to review a policy that will allow all students to progress from certificate to degree level is set to be inaugurated by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The 19-member team of experts will come up with the national policy on Kenya Credit Accumulation and Transfer (KCAT) system policy in the Country.

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The inauguration of the Committee sets stage for implementation of recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform (PWPER), which identified Credit Accumulation and Transfer Systems (CATS) in Kenya as an important aspect of education reforms that needs to be implemented.

Section 8(1) (l) of the Kenya National Qualifications Framework (KNQF) Act No. 22 of 2014 mandates KNQA to facilitate linkages, credit transfers and exemptions and a vertical and horizontal mobility at all levels of learning to enable entry, re-entry, and exit.

The Authority in consultation with stakeholders had developed a Kenya Credit Accumulation and Transfer (KCAT) system policy as one of the tools to contribute to lifelong learning.

“Following a shift to a new National Economic Agenda – the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), recommendations from stakeholders and the emerging changes in Occupations there is need to revise and re-align the policy to make it responsive to the emerging changes,” reads the appointment letter by CS Machogu dated September 17, 2023.

The Adhoc Committee on Review the KCAT system policy is expected to review the Policy;, develop KCAT system Standards and Guidelines; and perform any other function that is incidental to the performance of the above stated functions.

KNQA Ag. Director General Dr. Alice Kande welcomed the appointment noting that the team is now ready to start the exercise.

“This is a very critical process that we are determined to complete on time as it will go a long way in promoting long life learning,” said Dr. Kande.

“There is a 49 per cent that is capped on what should be considered for progression to another level under KCATS,” said Dr. Kande adding that the agency will  continue to  work with other institutions to prepare them on how to implement the CATS system once approved.

The setting up of the adhoc committee is a major score to the Education sector, this is after Education Committee in the National Assembly last week called on the Ministry of Education to speed up implementation of the presidential working party on education reforms.

In a report presented to President William Ruto, the Prof Raphael Munavu team also wants more awareness creation on Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Accumulation and Transfer Systems.

“We recommend the development of a framework for linkages among TVETs to remove duplications and create centres of excellence based on niche,” reads the report that the President has directed its immediate implementation.

Already RPL policy has been reviewed and submitted to Education Ministry for consideration.

Credit accumulation involves aggregating the credits required to complete a qualification or part qualification, often within defined programmes, which can be institution-specific, across different institutions, or between various qualification levels. Equally, credit transfer entails the movement of specific credits vertically, diagonally, or horizontally towards a qualification or partial qualification at the same or a higher level.

This transfer typically transpires between different programmes or institutions, actively promoting lifelong learning and establishing vital links between skill development and the labor market.

“The growing demand for mobility, both in terms of intellectual pursuits and the labor force, underscores the pressing need to address the compatibility, comparability, and transferability of qualifications and competencies, both within national boundaries and across borders,” said Dr Kande.

In alignment with ongoing initiatives for regional and continental education and training harmonization, supported by UNESCO’s Addis Convention on the recognition of degrees and certificates (2014), the Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) system emerges as an indispensable tool for quantifying and validating qualifications.

According to the CS, there is the robust linkages and connections between TVET institutions and the industry is crucial are the linkages are the driving force behind a responsive and effective education system, which will benefit both the individual trainee and the broader economy.

Mr Machogu says recognition of prior leaning, as a means of acknowledging and certifying skills and competencies that have been acquired through experience in the industry is very important.

“These recommendations reflect commitment to a holistic and dynamic approach to education and training. This is an approach that actively engages with industry, promotes seamless progression, and values the prior learning and industry experiences,” says Dr Machogu.

He adds; “We have worked in earnest to implement the recommended reforms. The implementation measures have included the hiring and retooling of trainers, and reviewing the curriculum to shift from theory-based training to practical-based training.”

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