Kenya develops framework to recognize undocumented skills

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Kenya said Wednesday it had developed a framework for recognition of undocumented skills of thousands of workers in the informal sector.

Esther Muoria, principal secretary of the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training in Kenya’s Ministry of Education, said in a statement released in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the framework, dubbed “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy,” will help the East African nation adopt best global practices in managing and growing citizens’ skills.

“Our aim is to have a system where everyone’s skills and competencies are recognized and valued, regardless of their background or educational journey,” Muoria said.

She observed that in Kenya, there are thousands of people with untapped and unrecognized skills which, if documented, can help the country have a true picture of the skills it needs.

RPL is used globally as a tool to promote access, employability, mobility, progression, and fair chances for disadvantaged and marginalized groups.

The International Labour Organization notes that RPL helps “individuals acquire a formal qualification that matches their knowledge and skills, and thereby contribute to improving their employability, mobility, lifelong learning, social inclusion, and self-esteem.”

Alice Kande, the acting director-general of the Kenya National Qualifications Authority, said the framework will bring into the national database of qualifications numerous skills, knowledge, and competencies that are currently contributing to national development, but have not been formally articulated, assessed and certified.

“Many countries recognize the value of non-formal and informal learning and the majority have established systems to acknowledge competencies gained through these modalities. This is the route Kenya is taking,” she added.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, about seven out of ten jobs in the country are in the informal sector, where the majority of unskilled workers are employed.

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