Six Kenyan TVET Institutions receives ICT Equipment from BEAR II Project
On 10 August 2021, UNESCO Regional Director, Prof. Hubert Gijzen officially handed over ICT Equipment (Computers, interactive boards, projectors, microphones, solar panels etc.) to Six TVET Institutions in Kenya, who are the beneficiaries of UNESCO BEAR II Project funded by the Republic of Korea.
In Kenya, BEAR II project supports TVET institutions in the environmental technology sector on solar photovoltaic (PV). During the hand over Prof. Hubert Gijzen was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kenya, H.E. Yeonghan Choi. The ceremony held at PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute, Nairobi, one of the six TVET institution was presided over by the Principal Secretary at the State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, Ministry of Education, Kenya, Dr. Margaret Mwakima in company of Director General of the TVET Authority, Dr. Kipkirui Lang’at, Secretary-General of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Evangeline Njoka.
The hybrid meeting (physical and Online) drew 100 participants and stakeholders from the six TVET institution, National BEAR II Technical and Steering Committee members in both public and private sectors, and students. Also present, were the principals and staff from the 6 beneficiary institutions, notably, PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute in Nairobi, Wote Technical Training Institute in Makueni, Coast Institute of Technology in Mombasa, Kaiboi Technical Training Institute in Eldoret, Michuki Technical and Training Institute in Thika and Siaya Institute of Science and Technology in Siaya.
The ceremony was in line with UNESCO promise to support Kenya TVET sector in response to the disruption of COVID-19 pandemic on education. Through the Bear II Project, UNESCO supported the Department of Vocational and Technical Training in the establishment of National Learning Management System hosted by Kenya Technical Trainers College to enhance promotion of digital learning. BEAR II is also supporting the formulation of an ODeL policy as well as capacity building of trainers. For example, about 600 trainers have been trained on online approaches to TVET training. In order to actualize digital learning, Bear II Project, supplied ICT equipment to the six beneficiary institutions across Kenya. These institutions will be rolling out the implantation of solar PV curricula (Level 6 and Level 3) during the course of the year, and the equipment is expected to provide platforms for digital learning ensuring learning continuity and increasing accessibility of TVET training despite COVID-19 disruptions.
In her remarks, the Secretary-General of Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Evangeline Njoka, expressed her joy at the evident growth of TVET in Kenya and the developments in the sector. Speaking about the UNESCO Associated School Network Project, (ASPnet) which currently involves 110 TVET institutions in Kenya, she wished ASPnet would be rolled out to more institutions as it focuses on education for sustainable development, global peace and understanding, quality education and intercultural dialogue. The ASPnet has been an effective tool for realizing Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development which are part of sustainable development goals of Education 2030.
Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training, appreciated the various stakeholders and the contributions of UNESCO to education sector in Kenya, especially in the area of TVET and TVET institutions. She noted, the support of UNESCO through the BEAR II project in the promotion of digital TVET learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the establishment of the National Learning Management System. In her address, she called for more future partnerships that will inform Green TVET frameworks. She further informed the participants of a masterplan on TVET in her State Department; a digital transformation strategy, with which she encouraged collaborations between cross-section of stakeholders in the transformation of TVET process. “UNESCO donation will contribute and accelerate this transformation process.”- She remarked.
The Regional Director of UNESCO, Prof. Hubert Gijzen, expressed gratitude to the Republic of Korea for their support in BEAR II project benefitting five countries in the region, notably, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda. He acknowledged the vital role BEAR II project plays in improving the perception of TVET among young people. He further pointed how encouraging it was to note that the National Development Plans of the five BEAR II countries spoke to the importance of TVET in each of their sector. He further added that the Africa Union Agenda 2063, was a fantastic crystal-clear plan that provides a framework through which digitization of processes could be realized by harnessing renewable energy, noting that 82% of learners in Africa lacked access to Internet.