TVET Authority Director General Dr. Kipkirui Langat has lauded the achievement of Better Education for Africa’s Rise II dubbed BEAR II project, saying that it has enhanced the quality of training offered to trainees by building capacities of TVET trainers and institutions.

Speaking yesterday during the presentation of the Evaluation report for the project, which has come to an end, Dr. Langat noted that the evaluation report, which captures the implementation of the project and the deliverables will form the basis for future plans and the sustainability of the project, including mobilization of resources.

“The BEAR II project has achieved a lot since it was rolled out. This includes increasing relevance of TVETs to the needs of our economy,” Dr. Langat said.

Dr. Langat pointed out that there is a great need for TVET institutions to work together with the private sector to build capacity and develop a green economy. He reiterated that the six benefiting TVET institutions should go green, especially by embracing green technology and the use of alternative energy sources.

The project, which was rolled out in 2017 has been supporting five Eastern African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda, in improving the relevance, quality and perception of their TVET systems.

BEAR II drew on the knowledge and experience from the first BEAR project which was conducted in 2011 – 2016 and supported TVET systems in five Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, namely: Botswana, DR Congo, Malawi, Namibia, and Zambia. BEAR III Project which kicks off next year will benefit West African countries.

UNESCO regional Director Prof. Hubert Gijzen said that the BEAR II project was a journey that kicked off in 2013 and was first executed in Southern African countries that are members of the SADC before it was rolled out to Eastern Africa.

“This partnership with the Republic of Korea is not just project-based, its programmatic and long-term. This event may mark the ending of the project; it also provides a stepping stone to further expand our strategic engagements in skills development,” Prof. Hibert said.

The project is developed in close partnership with the Ministries of Education and is the result of a series of meetings and consultations with the governments and stakeholders of the TVET sector in the beneficiary countries.

It has achieved a number of milestones including the development of policies to guide the TVET Sub-Sector in Kenya, the Open Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL) policy, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) policy framework, Career Guidance and Counselling Framework, and Quality Assurance Manuals. The project has also established the National Skills Getaway for Kenya, a platform that will be useful in the sharing of necessary information among youth and other TVET stakeholders.

As for the objective of improving the perception of TVET, the project facilitated the country to join WorldSkills International, a global hub for vocational skills competitions aimed at promoting the recognition of skilled youth nationally and internationally. The project helped WorldSkills Kenya to hold its first pilot competition event in Mechatronics and later facilitated the country to participation in the WorldSkills Africa competition held in Swakopmund, Namibia, which took place from 28th March to 2nd April, competing in Cooking, Restaurant Services and Mechatronics. Kenya got a Gold medal in Restaurant Services and a Bronze medal in Cooking.