Work integrated learning for TVET institutions in Kenya


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Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is presented as an effective alternative to Kenya's Higher Education Institute's practical or industrial attachment. These institutions are refereed to as Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions due to the unique and practical skills students are expected to acquire at the end of their training.

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Work integrated learning for TVET institutions in Kenya

  1. 1. WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING FOR HIGHER EDUCATIONINSTITUTES IN KENYABy Beatrice Adera Amollo, Information Professional, Kenya 21 February 2013INTRODUCTIONDavid A. Kolb, a renowned American educational theorist stated that “learning is theprocess whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Beard &Wilson, 2006, p. 19). The theory presents a model of learning, consisting of a four-stagecyclical theory of learning referred to as experiential learning theory that combinesexperience, perception, cognition, and behaviour. This theory sheds light on the types ofexperience from which students can learn while encouraging critical reflection for thestudents so that their learning experience becomes meaningful.This theory forms basis for the importance of linking the classroom to the actual workplaceor industry. Several terms have been used to describe and include real life work experiencein the course syllabi. The terms include action-learning, apprenticeships, cooperativeeducation, experiential learning, inquiry learning, inter-professional learning, practicumplacements, problem-based learning, project-based learning, scenario learning, service-learning, team-based learning, virtual or simulated Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)learning, work-based learning, work experience, workplace learningWIL has been used as an umbrella term to describe curricular, pedagogic and assessmentpractices, across a wide range of subjects that integrate formal learning and workplaceinterests.LINK BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND TVET INSTITUTIONS IN KENYAIn Kenya, the government through the relevant Ministries and stakeholders from the privatesector places have in the recent past placed great emphasis on the delivery of qualityeducation at all levels. The higher education sector has in particular been on focus due tothe great influx from secondary to tertiary level institutions. The demand for highereducation has superseded the availability of learning opportunities which has resulted in anincrease quite a number of colleges and training institutions that do not meet the expectedstandards.To control and monitor this growth in the sector, the government has put in placesmeasures and initiated programs through the relevant ministries, that will eventually ensurethat the student’s learning process is all inclusive and up to the international standards. Page 1 of 4
  2. 2. One of the projects is through the country’s Vision 2030 that is titled ‘Strengthening ofLinkages between Industry and Training Institutions’. This flagship project was started tohelp develop skills and competencies from the learning institutions that are required byindustries. (Kenya Vision 2030, 2011)The project which is implemented by the Ministry of Labour and placed under the Labour &Employment sector of the social pillar has set out to prepare a Draft Industrial TrainingPolicy and a Draft Industrial Attachment Policy, place 10,000 students on industrialattachment and train 5,800 students in industrial skills.In the first quarter of 2010/11 financial year, 21,299 students were attached to industry.The Ministry has so far initiated the development of policies on industrial attachment andindustrial training. A committee has been constituted to spearhead formulation of the policy.(Kenya Vision 2030, 2011)The Ministry of Higher Education, Science & Technology, through the TVET Bill has initiatedand proposed reforms for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutionswhich include aligning of TVET curriculum to the demands of Kenya’s Vision 2030. The TVETinstitutions are expected to harmonize training qualifications by ensuring that they adoptnational and international standards and entrench supervised industrial attachments orinternships in the training.Some of the outlined strategies in the TIVET Bill, which are of interest and are relevant toWIL include Enhance the apprenticeship system to allow TVET graduates to work and study Streamline the management and assessment of industrial attachment process Develop a demand-driven competency based trainingThese have been developed in response to concerns about graduateness, employability andcivic responsibility.PROPOSED WORK-INTEGRATED LEARNING FOR KENYA’S HEIMajority of Higher Education Institutes namely colleges are accredited by the Ministry ofHigher Education Science and Technology and registered as TVET institutions. They arecontinuously assessed against the TVET standards which include the requirement forindustrial placement of students.In conformance to the requirements and to add practical value to the students’ learningexperience, the author proposes that Kenya colleges implement Work-Integrated Learning Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. (WIL) which is similar to the local industrial attachment, with a slight difference. In fact, onemay easily think that the two terminologies mean the exact same thing.Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is used to describe directed or supported educationalactivities that integrate theoretical learning with its application in the workplace. It isintentional, organised, recognised and accredited by the training Institution to providepowerful learning experiences for students and staff. WIL ensures that students develop atruly integrated approach to learning through a combination of academic and work-relatedactivities. (Council on Higher Education, 2011)The advantages for students who participate in WIL include: i. Academic benefits, such as improved general academic performance, enhancement of interdisciplinary thinking, increased motivation to learn; ii. Personal benefits, such as increased communication skills, team work, leadership and co-operation, iii. Career benefits, for example, career clarification, professional identity, increased employment opportunities and salaries, development of positive work values and ethics; and iv. Skills development, including increased competence and increased technical knowledge and skills. (Council on Higher Education, 2011, p. 6)WIL encourages students to reflect on their experiences and develop and refine their ownconceptual understanding. This is not only necessary for general education but for a career-focused education. With WIL, the student’s employability is viewed as being embodiedwithin the student who is not only work ready, but career and future ready. Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. REFERENCESBeard, C. & Wilson, J. P. (2006). Experiential learning: A handbook of best practice for educators and trainers. London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd. Retrieved from on Higher Education (2011, August). Work-Integrated Learning: Good practice guide, HE Monitor, 12.Kenya Vision 2030 (2011), Flagship projects. Retrieved December 15, 2012, from of Education. (2012). Task force on the re-alignment of the education sector to the constitution of Kenya 2010: Towards a globally competitive quality education for sustainable development. Kenya: Ministry of EducationMinistry of Higher Education Science and Technology (2012) The Technical and Vocation Education and Training Bill, 2012. Retrieved from tvetbill-2012 Page 4 of 4