The Nyeri National Polytechnic has gained the ability to provide training, issue internal exams and award certificates to students independently.
This achievement comes after the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) granted the institution the Qualification Awarding Institution Certification (QAI), equivalent to a university charter.
As a result, the polytechnic can now create a Competency-Based Education and Training Curriculum (CBET) that can be adopted by other vocational training colleges for student training and assessment.
Moreover, the QAI allows the polytechnic to certify students who previously held government trade certificates.
During the awarding ceremony in Nyeri, Dr. Esther Muoria, the Principal Secretary for Technical, Vocational Education and Training, described this development as a transformative advancement in vocational education.
The Nyeri National Polytechnic becomes the third institution in the country to receive this certification, following Meru and Kenya Coast National Polytechnics, who received theirs in March of this year.
Dr. Muoria also mentioned that efforts are underway to ensure that other national polytechnics receive their QAI.
“Nyeri National Polytechnic has developed a battery of qualifications and skill sets that they are going to train and award certificates. What this means is that the other institutions can now also train in the qualifications that have been developed in this institution but when they graduate, those students will get a certificate of the Nyeri National Polytechnic,” said Dr Muoria.
Mr. David Mwangi, principal of Nyeri National Polytechnic, believes that the qualification certification will help TVETs shift from a technology-based to a skill-based curriculum.
In the past, TVETs have been criticized for imitating the university system by focusing too heavily on theory and not providing students with adequate hands-on experience.
According to Mr. Mwangi, the polytechnic has established 19 level V and level VI CBET curricula, and enrollment data has been collected at each level.
Mwangi stated that an additional 72 curricula had been produced, 32 of which offered credit waivers to students with relevant experience.