The quest for a harmonised Regional TVET Qualifications Framework being implemented by the Inter University Council of East Africa will run up 2024, and is guided by Dutch consultants Cadena International Development Projects. The organisation has a prepared a draft framework to be interrogated during the process.
“The harmonisation of TVET qualifications and occupational standards has the objective of increasing access and improving the quality of TVET programs “
It kicked off with a validation workshop in Nairobi in September, and is meant to ease the mobility of students and personnel across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
“The harmonisation of TVET qualifications and occupational standards has the objective of increasing access and improving the quality of TVET programs in selected regional Flagship TVET Institutes, and supporting regional integration in East Africa,” said Gaspard Banyankimbona, executive secretary of the IUCEA.
It will be implemented as one of the objectives of the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project initiative of the World Bank, which has the harmonisation process as part of component three of the project.
The section focuses on enhancing regional collaboration in TVET including harmonisation of standards and mutual recognition of qualifications in priority areas including manufacturing, agro-processing, energy, transport and infrastructure, and ICT, he added.
“It contributes in part, to the broader goal of the IUCEA of implementing the common higher education area in the EAC region,” added the secretary, noting that the process of synchronisation of qualifications began in March 2020 in a meeting that saw the need for harmonisation of TVET qualifications and occupational standards.
The meeting also recommended the establishment of a Technical Working Group to fast track the harmonisation process.
It is also in line the declaration of the move by the East African Community heads of state Summit of May 2017, which declared the region a common higher education area.
The declaration effectively ushered in a regime where all national higher education and training systems operate and are guided by a common regional framework under which curricula, examinations and certification as well as academic and professional qualifications, and the quality of the educational and training output in universities is now harmonised, he added.
Banyankimbona observed that the council has already developed the East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education, and put in place mechanisms to facilitate quality assurance and mutual recognition of qualifications, as regional instruments for attaining a fully harmonised and integrated higher education and training system.