Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia, with funds from the World Bank, have started the process of harmonising Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) curriculum to make it easy to share skilled artisans and TVET lecturers.
The process got underway this past Monday at a workshop in Nairobi attended by EAC officials and representatives from the countries.
The harmonisation is being supported by the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) and will be spearheaded by the three countries. The other EAC members of Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan will be brought on board the EASTRIP project later.
The harmonisation process was actually kicked off last year by the Inter-University Council for East Africa, as part of its broader goal of implementing the common higher education sector in EAC. This will also help achieve the EAC pillar on free movement of professionals.
“Harmonisation will promote similar set of skills for artisans in textiles, glass, and plumbers in Ethiopia and the EAC, who in turn can work, teach and provide services across the region,” said Prof Gaspard Banyankimbona, the executive secretary at IUCEA.
“Therefore, the harmonisation of TVET qualifications and occupational standards will support regional integration by facilitating implementation of the EAC Treaty and the Common Market Protocol which call for free movement of labour and professional services across the EAC region,” he added.
Under the EASTRIP, the harmonisation process will focus on enhancing regional collaboration in TVET including standards and mutual recognition of qualifications in EASTRIP priority areas such as manufacturing, agro-processing, energy, transport and infrastructure and ICT.
“The harmonised framework will eventually address the issue of regional integration because it will play a significant role in education sector and promote labour movement and skills transfer regionally and internationally,” Dr Margaret Mwakima, Kenya’s Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, State Department for Vocational and Technical Training said.