Excitement for jua kali sector as informal qualifications are now recognized

The public at KICC during the launch of RPL policy by DP Rigathi Gachagua.

Excitement is sweeping the informal sector as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy was launched today at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

The event, which was graced by the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua,  Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and other government dignitaries also served as  a  platform for the pass out and recognition of the first 900 RPL graduands.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was present at the launch in KICC.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi was also there, as was Education CS Ezekiel Machogu (below).
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu has invited public to present views in written memmoranda on Bills MoE has drafted to actualize the reforms in the education sector.

The launch has officially set the stage for a functional and credible system for the recognition of knowledge, skills and competencies that have been acquired through practical work that are not supported by corresponding academic or institutional qualifications.

The Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) Director General Alice Kande hailed the government for being supportive in the entire process. She added that by launching the RPL policy, Kenya has indicated high levels of seriousness towards recognizing handy skills acquired through practice in different fields.

“I appreciate all the organizations that have walked the journey of RPL to this first launch and release of the first cohort. It has been some journey rich in scholarly enrichment and experiences at various stages,” said Kande.

The director further added that the 900 first RPL cohort has been empowered with the latest modules of survival in the competitive labour market through a short but precise programme and the certificates issued are nationally recognized.

Gachagua applauded the government for recognizing and confirming the ability of artisans who form the bedrock of the country’s economy. This has elevated and dignified the artisans for what they do best.

“Indeed, today, hard-working, dedicated, focused and qualified Kenyans, who could never have bagged a certificate, will walk home with the promise of a job and a bright future for themselves and their families,” the DP said.

He added that the government through its Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) is sowing and growing seeds of equity and equality.

According to Gachagua, out of the 19.1 million people in the labour force in our country, about 16 million work in the informal sector, including the self-employment and casual labourers.

“The RPL will play a critical role in tapping the massive knowledge, skills and competencies at the bottom of the Kenyan economy,” said Gachagua.

The DP also called upon employers to align job description requirements to RPL qualifications.

The chairperson of the KNQA council Stanley Kiptis said that the Kenyan economy is predominantly informal and driven by individuals with skills who lack corresponding qualifications.

KNQA Council chairperson Stanley Kiptis.

“This makes the skills invisible as they are not documented.  Therefore, RPL is coming to make the invisible skills visible and bridge the gap between formal and informal sectors,” he said.

The launch of the RPL policy comes after it was approved in January by the Cabinet. It is a milestone to a process that begun in 2020.


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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281