Religious institutions asked to embrace RPL

KNQA Acting Director General Dr Alice Kande has asked religious institutions to embrace RPL.

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) acting Director General Dr Alice Kande, has urged religious institutions not be left behind  in the roll-out of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.

Speaking in Thika, Kiambu County, during a session with the Alliance of Theological Schools Accrediting  and  Licensing Commission (ATS), Dr Kande said the policy set to be launched next month will be a game changer.

“ I urge you to seek accreditation as Qualifications Awarding Institutions (QAIs) in order to be able to assess learners under RPL,” said Dr Kande.

She explained that  RPL is the process of identifying, assessing and certifying an individual’s knowledge, skills and competencies against prescribed standards, or learning outcomes regardless of when, where and how they were acquired.

The policy was approved by the Cabinet in January,  paving way for recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired through practical work, but which are not supported by academic or institutional qualifications.

The approval process, which started in 2020, is a huge milestone as it now puts in place a functional and credible system for recognition of skills in the informal sector.

Dr Kande said the policy will open up a bountiful frontier of new opportunities for millions of Kenyans by facilitating transition from informality to formality between the education system and the labour market.

During  the forum, the acting Director General highlighted some of the  challenges being addressed by the authority in the qualifications  areas such  as fragmented, uncoordinated  and  incoherent education  and  training system, lack of a national qualifications accreditation system, and lack of a nationally accepted quality assurance system and standard(s) for national qualifications.

Others are disconnect between qualifications and actual skill needs in the workplace, poor documentation of qualifications awarded in the country, fraudulent  and fake certificates and qualifications, and mismatch between the demand and supply.

KNQA was established under the KNQF Act of 2014 to to be  the custodian of all national qualifications obtained in Kenya, as well as coordinate and supervise the development of policies on national qualifications.

Other functions are to develop a national accreditation, quality assurance, assessment  and examination and credit accumulation and  transfer system (CATs), and establish a system for recognition of competencies and  attainment of qualifications (RPL).

By Ouma Wanzala

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