Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), in collaboration with TVET stakeholders has today inaugurated the TVETA Research Advisory Committee that will henceforth provide a new impetus for strengthening and streamlining research in the TVET sector and readily provide information on research findings.
The committee, which will be chaired by Prof Bonaventure Wanjala Kerre, University of Eldoret, will also spearhead the operationalisation of the Kenya Journal of TVET that will be one of the platforms researchers will publish their works.
The other members of the advisory committee include Dr Asaka Nyangara (Kisumu National Polytechnic), Dr Jaro Arero (Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM), Dr Edwin Tarno (RVTTI), Dr John Mugo (Zizi Afrique), Dr Alex Awiti (Aga Khan University), Dr Benedicto Mwancha (KTTC), Dr Angelina Kasina (TUK), Ms Agnes Mercy Wahome (KUCCPS) and Dr Osawa Otta (TVETA).
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony held at a Nairobi hotel, TVETA Director –General Dr Kipkirui Langat said that the Authority is committed to making informed decisions based on research findings and has established a department of Research to harness and research efforts.
“The Authority in collaboration with various stakeholders and development partners is also working on various research activities to ensure that all decisions made are based on evidence. Additionally, the Authority is closely working with different stakeholders involved in TVET research and government agencies to implement the various research findings in the TVET institutions,” Dr Langat told the meeting.
The Director-General also noted that the Authority has put in place various mechanisms to strengthen research and innovation in all the TVET institutions.
“The TVETA QA manual, which is readily available on the Authority’s website, clearly stipulates that all TVET institutions are required to be actively involved in research and innovation. The “Hands on the Future skills show” and the World Youth Skills Day are other fora that are used by the Authority to motivate innovation. A significant number of TVET institutions are already involved in Research and hold annual research conferences where research papers and innovations are presented,” he observed.
Dr Langat also informed the participants that the requirement by TVET Act for all trainers to undergo Continuous Professional Development (CPD), which is being implemented by the Authority, will continually improve trainers’ skills, knowledge and attitudes.
“This will immensely contribute in making the trainers become more effective through the use of flexible training resources and materials such as training videos, specialist advisors and mobile workshops and address the needs of various learners. The CPD is also expected to make both the trainers and trainees become more reflective and innovative and be able to participate more effectively in the dynamic TVET sector.”
TVETA Chairman Ahmed Ferej said the Authority is fully committed to provide all the necessary backing required to continually strengthen research, innovation and training standards in the TVET sector.
This, he said will ensure that all the TVET graduates are equipped with skill requirements for both the current and future labour market.
“The management shall support the Authority to form close collaboration with all TVET stakeholders such as government agencies, development partners and NGO interested in TVET Research to undertake research in thematic areas that shall be identified by the Research Advisory Committee,” Dr Ferej said.
“Research data shall also provide evidence for preparing workers and trainees for life-long learning in order to equip them with both the new skills in their areas of preparation and transversal and sustainable development skills that include employability, adaptability, entrepreneurial, learning to learn and environmental sustainability skills such as greening initiatives to prepare them for future jobs and enable them to cope with technological changes,” he added.
The new Research Advisory Committee Chair Prof Kerre said that his team will work to streamline the development of research that is geared towards applied research that can help in solving the problems facing the country and regional at large.
“Research and innovations in TVET have been behind the major innovations that have taken place since time immemorial that has changed the world. And most of these innovations have not necessarily been developed by university graduates but rather by people with craft training,” Prof Kerre said.