Recognition of Prior Learning Policy to be launched next week

Dr Alice Kande, KNQA Director General.

The implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy set to be launched this week is a bridge to facilitate transition from informality to formality in the Country.

The event will be presided over by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, and Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu among other cabinet secretaries at the Kenyatta International Convection Centre.

The launch follows the approval of the policy in January by the Cabinet Chaired by President William Ruto, a milestone in a process that commenced in the year 2020.

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

According to Mr Machogu, the policy is the bridge to facilitate transition from informality to formality as well as facilitating multi entry/exit between the education system and the labour market.

“This seminal opens up a bountiful frontier of new opportunities for the millions of Hustlers who are the lifeblood of the Kenyan economy,”   said the Cabinet Secretary.

He added that the implementation of the policy is a major win for hundreds of learners who had completed their assessment and  those who wish to be assessed.

The Cabinet Secretary observed  that Kenya’s education and training sector is regarded as one of the best in Africa as it is evidenced by the fact that Kenya has led in developing and implementing policies, standards and procedures for the management of accreditation of institutions, qualifications and quality assurance on the continent.

“This framework brings together Basic Education (BE), Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), University Education (UE), industrial training and lifelong learning to enable better coordination and harmonization of qualifications across the various sectors. Like other African countries, Kenya has a large informal sector whose integration into the national development agenda has not been well articulated,” said   the Cabinet Secretary.

He went on : “ This is a major milestone in the management of qualifications in Kenya and opens doors for innovation and massification of education while maintaining quality and relevance. The policy opens new doors for more flexible pathways through any curriculum, thus enabling greater participation in higher education by learners from various backgrounds.”

Dr. Esther  Muoria,  the Principal Secretary, State Department for Technical Vocational Education and Training said  with the dynamic needs of the labour market, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will provide alternative access and admission to education, ensure progress of qualified candidates in their careers, avoid duplication of learning and accelerate the process of obtaining relevant qualifications.

“Recognition and certification of existing skills and competences will also bridge skill gaps more efficiently allowing individuals to enter the workforce with less need for retraining and foster innovation and creativity within the economy,” added  Dr Muoria.

She noted that the standards and guidelines  developed will provide a fair, transparent and accessible process of evaluation, documentation and recognition of acquired skills, knowledge, and competencies to RPL candidates and learners.

“Implementation of this policy will greatly contribute to improved employability, labour mobility, lifelong learning, social inclusivity, self-esteem, and increased productivity in Kenya for global labour competitiveness,” says  the Principal Secretary.

The Kenya National Qualifications Framework Act(2014) provides pathways that support the development and maintenance of flexible access to qualifications.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General  Alice Kande  assures Kenyans that the  policy and guidelines will provide standards of assessing and certifying the skills and competencies acquired through experience.

‘’This will enable our skilled, but uncertified youths to be awarded certificates based on individual competencies expanding their opportunities in employment and advanced learning,’’ she stated

She said  the Authority appreciates the government support  that  went  into the development of the policy.

“Industry experts possess real-world insights into the rapidly evolving market trends, skill demands, and emerging technologies. By actively engaging with academic institutions, these experts can provide valuable guidance on curriculum design, ensuring that courses align with the current and future needs of the job market,” Dr  Kande  added.

The Presidential Working Party on Education Reform (PWPER),had recommended the implementation of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy and Credit Accumulation and Transfer Systems (CATS) in Kenya.

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

Internationally RPL is used as a tool for lifelong learning through provision of access to higher education; Award credit towards a qualification; Admissions into formal institutions of Learning; advanced standing and credit accumulation and transfer; RPL for credit transfer or harmonization (national and foreign credits); RPL for recognition of experiential learning; RPL for upgrading of skills or qualifications and regulatory requirements of some sectors in terms of employing qualified persons.

The KNQF Act Section 8(1)(k) mandates the  Authority to promote lifelong learning and recognise the acquisition of skills obtained through different methods; formally, non informally and informally.

The Authority recognizes that not all skills are acquired  in classroom setting. There are mechanics, technicians, plumbers, and tailors with excellent  skills they have acquired in the course of their  work.


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