Teachers Urged To Conform To Education Reforms

Teachers in the country are required to upgrade to diploma level to conform to the Competency-Based- Curriculum that the Education Ministry is implementing.

Speaking during a graduation ceremony at the International Teaching and Training Center (ITTC) in Isinya, Kajiado East Sub County, the Director of Teacher Education in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Salome Maina urged all teachers who graduated with a certificate in Early Childhood Education (ECDE) and Primary Teacher Education (PTE) to upgrade to diploma to conform to the new education reforms.

‘Because of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) and the reforms at the Education Ministry, all the teachers teaching are supposed to be at the diploma level. Practicing teachers are supposed to upgrade in order to comply with the new system of education. All who are graduating with ECDE and PTE, please undertake the one-year upgrading course so that you can attain a diploma,’ Dr. Maina said.

She noted that the 21st Century environment demands a highly flexib
le labour force which is demonstrated in the application of the technical and soft skills competencies.

‘Today’s teacher must possess abilities that make them competitive both locally and globally thus training must go beyond the traditional role of imparting knowledge, skills, and attitude, and it is based on this expectation that the government adopted the CBC that is being implemented in the teacher training colleges.

‘As a country, we are committed to producing a 21st-century teacher who has the requisite teaching skills and is willing to adapt to the learner-centered approaches that lay emphasis on nurturing every learner’s potential and responding to societal needs. We are also expecting teachers who will inspire the learners and engage them in a friendly manner by communicating to them effectively and creating an enabling environment for learning,’ Dr Maina emphasized.

The Director said the government recognizes the critical role played by private institutions which provide education opportunities t
o Kenyans provided they offer quality education and meet expected standards.

Dr Maina further added that all the teachers are required to register with the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), familiarize themselves with the education reforms, and acquire the legal and policy documents on education which are easily accessible at the TSC and Ministry of Education websites.

The Director said the government is committed to ensuring that every Kenyan is given an equal opportunity to learn and study considering education is the right of every Kenyan adding that the government is continually investing in basic education and everyone is expected to actively participate in ensuring both boys and girls are given equal opportunities in education at all levels.

ITTC’s Board of Management chairperson William Aketch urged teachers to perform their role diligently to safeguard the fabric of the nation because they are the ones who shape the future of nations and added they must do so with integrity, professionalism, hone
sty, and honour.

Over 1,200 students graduated in Teacher Education, Primary Teacher Education, and Early Childhood Development Education courses alongside various TVET courses.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Gov’t Moots A Policy To Ensure Skills Acquired In TVETs Can Be Upgraded

The Government is formulating a policy to ensure that qualifications that Kenyans acquire through Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and skills acquired beyond the classroom can be upgraded through transfer of credit up to university.

State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Principal Secretary Dr Esther Muoria said this will ensure young people can go to any TVET institution and progress up the ladder until they can acquire the highest qualification including a doctorate in their area of qualification.

Dr Muoria said this policy of upgrading qualifications will help in improving mobility of our young people by encouraging them to advance their skills through continued learning and added this advancement will be enhanced through credit transfer from one level to another.

‘Therefore it will no longer be true that that when you complete your training in TVETs you can only do technical work you trained for, but we want to ensure that progression is achieved fo
r your credits from one level to another,’ Muoria stated.

Dr Muoria was speaking in Naivasha on Monday during a Multisectoral workshop for members of an ad hoc committee appointed to review the Kenya Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (KCATS).

She also recommended that every young person should have a skill which they can fall back to make a living when the main career gets into a hitch and said even those in colleges and universities can still go back to learn a skill in TVET institutions.

In his remarks read by Dr Mworia at the opening of the five-day workshop, Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr Ezekiel Machogu said this policy will mark a significant milestone towards meeting the national, regional and continental aspirations on attainment of learner mobility and lifelong learning.

‘Through this system, the Ministry envisages to ease movement of learners between and within various programmes, institutions and levels of qualifications such as TVET institutions, universities and even professional e
xamining bodies. This will not only facilitate credit transfers, exemptions, but also vertical and horizontal mobility of learners at all levels to enable entry, re-entry and exit,’ Machogu noted.

The CS said the global megatrends require that education and training respond to the emerging needs, allow for compatibility and transferability of skills and people and as a result of these demands, the Government of Kenya has embarked on reforms to develop tools and instruments that empower and skill young Kenyans to thrive in a competitive, industrializing and closely networked and globalized world through flexible, but quality assured qualifications pathways.

He observed that the dynamic and emerging global trends for both skills and knowledge-based economy calls for systems that embrace lifelong learning and reiterated that the Government is committed to provide inclusive quality education and training which is in line with UN Sustainable Development

‘There has never been a time in this country when the Gove
rnment has put a lot of emphasis on learner mobility, recognition and internationalization of qualifications than now. In fact, the Presidential Working Party Report on Education and Training indeed flagged out the need to develop and implement a Credit Accumulation and Transfer system to facilitate mobility of qualifications,’ Machogu said.

Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Alice Kande said the move to review the policy was timely as it will help the country to come up with quality training for her young population.

She said the policy framework was permeable through a process of transfer and therefore will ensure no skill of knowledge is wasted, whether acquired though formal or informal process outside classroom.

Dr Kande explained that the framework will clearly indicate at what level a person with these skills or knowledge can be awarded or conferred with a diploma or a degree for that matter, as it enumerates a proper and coordinated system of doi
ng that and ensures vertical or horizontal mobility.

‘Everyone should be able to move vertically or horizontally, while at the same time encouraging lifelong learning and recognizing of prior learning,’ she said.

Dr Kande also noted that the policy will address various issues in education that have not been addressed, for instance where recognition of knowledge and prior learning skills has been regarded in a very varied manner by different institutions.

The Government also recently proposed a policy framework that seeks to recognize people with certain skills but lack the necessary academic papers to make them to be identified.

The move will see people especially in the informal sector who possess exemplary skills (competencies) in areas such as plumbing and masonry among others being vetted through a procedure that has been established and awarded certificates. Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) is coordinating this whole process.

Kande said Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process
used to identify, assess, and certify a candidate’s competencies regardless of when, where, and how they were acquired against prescribed standards or learning outcomes and is meant to help these people achieve some level of professional recognition in their work.

The move targets mainly workers in the informal sector, who possess exemplary competencies in what they do, migrant workers and refugees, asylum seekers and out-of-school youths.

According to the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA), Kenya still faces a severe shortage of quality and relevant skilled workforce due to a mismatch between skills produced and labour market needs.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State To Erect Surveillance Cameras On Major Highways To Curb Road Accidents

The government through the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) will to erect surveillance speed cameras on major highways, aimed at reducing road accidents by 20 percent.

According to KeNHA, the process of procuring the enforcement cameras has commenced and the gadgets will be erected on major roads and highways starting next year to monitor excessive speeding.

Speaking in Naivasha during the World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash victims Sunday, KeNHA Director for Design and Safety Eng. Ezekiel Fukwo said the move will ensure adherence to traffic rules and speeding limits by motorists.

‘The erection of speed cameras on our roads is projected to reduce road accidents by 20 percent every year by curbing excessive speeding that has been attributed to increased fatalities,’ said Fukwo.

He added that the government will roll out a five-year road blackspot strategic plan to streamline and mitigate fatal road accidents on major highways, which will be achieved through various interventions including roa
d redesigning, erections of speed bumps and signage among others.

According to data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), 3,609 people have so far died from road carnages as at October this year, compared to 3,936 deaths during the same period last year.

NTSA Director General George Njau said Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa and Nakuru counties have registered a high number of road accidents this year as a result of drunk driving and excessive speeding.

Njau flagged the Nairobi – Nakuru highway for increased accidents after 173 people lost their lives this year alone, with Mai Mahiu, Gilgil areas registering high cases of fatalities.

This year in March, 17 people including Pwani University students lost their lives after the bus they were traveling in lost control and collided with a matatu at the Kayole area in Naivasha, along the Nairobi -Nakuru highway.

The highway which has been termed as a killer road, months later claimed more lives of high school students at the Delamere junction, amids
t intensified calls to add extra lanes to accommodate high and common traffic gridlocks.

In addition, Njau called for enhanced collaboration between state and non-state actors towards addressing road carnages, while calling on the motorists to exercise caution during this festive season.

With the current heavy rains across the country, the Director General cautioned motorists to exercise caution while driving to steer clear of any dangers due to slippery roads and sweeping floods.

‘NTSA will launch a national campaign during this year’s festive season to create more awareness of Kenyans and motorists on safe driving traffic rules and regulations to reduce fatal accidents,’ he added.

On her part, Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara called for an audit of driving schools in the country to ensure adherence to quality training offered to drivers. She called on motorists to exercise caution while driving during this festive season.

Kihara decried increased drunk driving, especially among young drivers, which has often r
esulted into fatal accidents. She appealed to the relevant government agencies to crack the whip on the menace.

Source: Kenya News Agency

‘November in Namibia’ initiative launched to boost intra-African connectionsKenya Industrialisation Conference Kicks Off To Revitalise Manufacturing Sector

A group of 21 Ghanaian tourists arrived in the country on Sunday for the ‘November in Namibia’ tourism and business pilot initiative.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in a media statement on Friday said the initiative aims to develop Namibia’s tourism industry within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area and ‘The Africa We Want’ agenda.

The initiative is also part of the memorandum of understanding on tourism between Namibia and Ghana, signed in April 2022 in Accra.

The initiative aims to create a network of African enthusiasts who are passionate about intra-African trade.

Former Ghanaian Ambassador to Namibia, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, while speaking to the media at the Hosea Kutako International Airport upon arrival on Sunday, said the group consists of professionals such as medical doctors, entertainers, bankers, legal professionals, and business people.

‘This is a people-to-people kind of visit. I know your country has a policy of getting closer to
Ghana and us getting closer to you, when I was ambassador that was what I was doing,’ he noted.

He stated that the trip was marketed on the premise that Namibia is a prime destination. He also mentioned that many people mistakenly believe that America and Europe are the ideal holiday destinations.

‘We are opening the door a little wider so that our compatriots can come in and see what you have here, in turn also to interest Namibians to see what we have in Ghana and the ECOWAS sub-region,’ Attah said.

Dr Adrian Oddoye, a member of the group, expressed similar feelings, saying they are not only in the country to visit, but also to connect with people who share common interests.

The group, on a 10-day visit, will explore the coast and various parts of the country where wildlife and business attractions are located.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

The country’s first-ever Industrialisation Conference commenced today at the University of Nairobi, coinciding with Africa Industrialisation Day as part of efforts to rejuvenate Kenya’s industrial landscape.

The three-day conference revolves around the theme, ‘Accelerating African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation through Value Chain Integration for Shared Prosperity’.

Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano stressed the importance of Kenya positioning itself as Africa’s manufacturing hub of choice amid the ongoing development of the African free trade agenda.

Miano highlighted the need for Kenya and Africa to cultivate a robust manufacturing culture supported by well-designed systems.

‘This would lead to enhanced industrial output, production diversity, and economic growth,’ she argued.

‘Strategic focus on value chains, would contribute to improved economic outcomes not only in Kenya but throughout the continent,’ she added.

The CS expressed optimism about th
e future of industrialization, citing the AU Conference of Ministers’ resolve in 2007, leading to the adoption of the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa.

She noted that the plan had recently been incorporated into the draft EAC Industrialization Policy and Strategy.

The Cabinet Secretary outlined four critical imperatives for Kenya’s industrialisation dream – quality and affordable energy, appropriate technologies, a skilled workforce, and finance for industrial development.

She pointed out that collaboration among multiple stakeholders, including both national and county governments, is crucial to achieving these goals.

Miano assured attendees that her Ministry would strive to improve the manufacturing environment in Kenya, fostering collaboration with the private sector and development partners.

She pledged deliberate strategies to attract domestic and foreign investments, ensuring that policies and frameworks align with the evolving needs of industrial transformation.

e CS called upon local manufacturers to adopt globally acclaimed sustainable industrial practices, starting with renewable energy.

She expressed hope that the conference would mark the beginning of a transformative industrial journey for Kenya, contributing to sustained economic prosperity in the future.

Juma Mukhwana, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, acknowledged the persistent challenges faced by African countries in achieving substantial manufactured value added to GDP.

Despite industrialization being a campaign promise across the continent, Mukhwana stressed the need for concerted efforts to overcome these hurdles.

Lynette Luvai, the Deputy Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to Kenya, highlighted the pivotal role of industrialisation in catalyzing economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and overall societal advancement.

Source: Kenya News Agency

SME Entrepreneurs Trained On Business And Human Rights

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) traders in Embu County have benefited from training on business and human rights to build stronger, more sustainable, and ethical enterprises.

The training conducted by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in partnership with Danish Institute of Business and Human Rights is aimed at enabling them to understand their role and responsibility in upholding and integrating human rights in their business strategies.

KNCCI Trade official Joyce Chelagat said the purpose of the trainings being carried countrywide was to enable the SMEs understand and learn their role in business and the importance of embedding human rights into their businesses.

She said businesses were not separate entities operating in isolation from the societies in which they thrive and as such have a moral and ethical responsibility to respect and uphold the fundamental rights of individuals within their sphere of influence.

Speaking on Monday during the training of tens of SME pla
yers held at a hotel in Embu Town, Ms Chelagat said this was not a matter of compliance with regulations but conscience and the values that underpin responsible entrepreneurship.

She said entrepreneurs need to understand their corporate responsibility to respect human rights as a key role for their businesses in a bid to attract markets and reduce risk of costly litigations, regulatory fines and reputation damage.

‘For instance, farmers need to understand the chemicals they ought to apply in their farms so that the products they avail to the market are safe for human consumption,’ she said, adding that issues of how they also treat their workers is another aspect that should also be taken into account.

Some Kenyan products have been in some instances blocked from accessing European Market due to high chemical residual levels and Ms Chelagat said SMEs and farmers must be sensitized on the need to uphold human rights for them to thrive in business.

Edward Munoru from the Micro and Small Enterprises Authorit
y (MSEA) said issues of human rights must be taken into account in the business ecosystem to promote sustainable enterprises.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Malaria Vaccine Registers A 13 Percent Reduction In Child Mortality

A ray of hope is in the offing towards the fight against malaria following the pilot implementation of the first malaria vaccine which posted a positive impact among children.

Kate O’Brien, Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the remarkable advance is attributed to the addition of the malaria vaccine to the existing toolbox of malaria control interventions.

‘Recent data shows a 13 percent reduction in all-cause mortality (excluding trauma) among children eligible for vaccination. Notably, this impact was achieved at approximately 64-74 percent coverage, previewing the likelihood of even greater impact as the coverage scales up,” Dr. O’Brien noted in a press release issued on Friday on the progress on how to prevent large-scale global outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

She observed that adding a malaria vaccine to the portfolio of malaria interventions is about optimizing the mix of imperfect interventions.

Dr. O’Br
ien points out that this move will not only ease the health burden and suffering of children and their families but also translate into substantial cost savings for healthcare systems.

The remarkable progress in vaccine impact was registered in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi where the pilot malaria vaccine implementation was undertaken to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

In Kenya, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year, and those living in Western Kenya have an especially high risk of malaria.

Both vaccines (RTS, S/ASO1) which received WHO recommendations in 2021 are safe and effective in preventing malaria in children and, when implemented broadly, are expected to have a high public health impact.

Nearly half a million children die from the disease each year in the African region.

According to Dr. O’Brien nine additional countries in sub-Saharan Africa are set to introduce the vaccine into their routin
e immunization programs beginning in early 2024 (Uganda, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), Liberia, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone).

She elaborated that, ‘With a WHO policy recommendation for a second malaria vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, now in place, additional countries are also planning for introduction, given the expectation for sufficient supply, once the R21/Matrix-M vaccine achieves WHO prequalification. Having vaccines against malaria is a testament to the power of innovation and global collaboration in the fight against malaria.’

In global healthcare, Dr. O’Brien also revealed that concerted efforts are witnessed in the prevention of cervical cancer due to the growing momentum of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs.

It is noteworthy that the global coverage for the first dose of HPV in girls rose from 16 percent in 2021 to 21 percent in 2022.

‘The scaling up is rapid in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Cambodia which have joined the ranks of countries which incl
ude HPV vaccine in the national schedule, following Indonesia’s successful rollout. These nations, home to substantial populations, shoulder a significant portion of the global cervical cancer burden,’ she reiterated.

In addition, she said, the upcoming introduction of HPV vaccination in India, and Pakistan’s announcement of their intent to join the ranks of countries protecting women from cervical cancer has elicited lots of excitement.

The DRC’s National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) further bolstered the vaccination program, which has recommended adding the HPV vaccine to the national vaccination schedule. The seven countries collectively account for a third of the global cervical cancer burden, which will be significantly reduced in the future through HPV vaccination in the here and now.

Globally, Measles is another highly infectious disease which is making an unwanted comeback with increased reports of cases and deaths. The proportion of children receiving a first dose of the measles v
accine increased from 81 percent in 2021 to 83 percent in 2022, well below the 2019 level of 86 percent.

Other regions are also contending with outbreaks: from richer countries such as Austria and the UK to middle-income ones like Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

‘Owing to decreased vaccination coverage, measles tends to resurface first due to its high contagiousness. However, declining vaccination rates set the stage for other serious vaccine-preventable diseases to reemerge,” Dr O’Brien clarified as she warned that measles outbreaks serve as a warning for potential outbreaks of severe illnesses like whooping cough, diphtheria, or polio.

She stressed that more support to countries under the banner of ‘The Big Catch-Up’, should be stepped up to re-establish routine vaccination programs, improving their coverage and reaching the most left out, wherever they are found, to prevent large-scale global outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Source: Kenya News Agency