On Wednesday 23rd June 2021, MESPT with partners officially launched the reviewed 24 Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) competency-based curricula for dairy, horticulture, and aquaculture at the Sankara hotel in Westlands.
The launch was officiated by Prof. Hamadi Boga, PS Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. He expressed optimism in launching reviewed curricula that are responsive to the market needs noting that they are demand driven because their formulation is informed by the occupational standards developed by the industry and sector.
Prof. Hamadi said that the ministry has several programmes supporting ATVETs and that they had piloted the competency-based education training (CBET) with results showing that most graduates from these institutions get absorbed faster in the job market compared to their peer in other institutions. He further applauded ATVET institutions for helping graduates to acquire the right skills and competencies that enhance job creation opportunities and self-employment.
The curricula were reviewed through consulted efforts of sector players with financial support from the European Union and DANIDA through the AgriFI food safety programme. They were approved for use by TVET Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) in the year 2020 and 2021 respectively.
The AgriFI food safety programme
This is a 6 -years (2018 -2023) Programme funded by the European Union & DANIDA with a focus on food safety (Sanitary & Phyto-sanitary Standards), plant and animal health. specifically, the programme is aimed at building the capacity of value chain actors based on the agricultural technical vocational education and training systems approach and increase the capacity of private sector and county governments to implement and enforce standards on animal health, food safety and plant health.
The programme is being implemented in 13 counties namely, Kilifi, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Kisii, Bungoma, Kakamega, Migori, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Makueni, Machakos, Meru and Embu. We are working with 13 selected Agriculture Training Centres (ATCs) in those counties namely, Kamweti ATC, Machakos ATC, Miyare ATC, Mabanga ATC, Waruihu ATC, Kaguru ATC, Mtwapa ATC, Kwa-Kathoka ATC, Njabini ATC, Nakuru ATC, Kisii ATC, Bukura ATC, and Embu ATC. The aim is to upgrade and transition them to Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) Centres of excellence, promoting competency- based learning for all.
Background of the ATVET curricula review
The Programme uses the Agricultural, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) model in the capacity building process and encompasses the curricula development aspect that responds to individual, institutional and enabling environment gaps that were identified in 2017 by the Ministry of Agriculture as impediment to drive the sector forward.
The Capacity Building Strategy for Agriculture Sector by the Ministry of Agriculture (2017) recommended the enhancement of capacity for vocational and agribusiness education and agricultural centres of excellence, a shift that MESPT’s AgriFI Food Safety programme has been supporting since 2018.
The enhancement and upgrade of the ATCs would not be possible without a comprehensive competency-based curricula that is internationally recognized for training programmes in agriculture-related courses.
The first Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) curriculum that MESPT and sector players appraised was developed by TVET CDACC, German International Cooperation (GIZ) and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The review was important to incorporate food safety components and because, even though ATCs continue to provide training in agriculture, they can only give internal certificates that are not recognized under Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) which provides learning progression. The reviewed curricula also are inclined to CBET practical skills delivery approach to spur competitiveness across value chain actors. By advocating for the model, it is envisaged that the training Centres will produce graduates that are market-oriented and will meet the labour market demands. Furthermore, MESPT through the AgriFI programme also developed teaching and learning (T&L) materials and customized them on the reviewed competency-based curricula.
Partners involved in the review
MESPT chairman Mr. Noah Meely appreciated the partners who were involved in the review process including, TVET-CDAAC, TVETA, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs), Agriculture & Food Authority -Horticultural Crops Directorate (AFA -HCD), Kenya Fisheries, Kenya Dairy Board, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Ministry of Agriculture - Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), Ministry of Health, the Council of Governors (CoG), 13 counties involved in the programme implementation and private sector players.