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Humber to Implement Kenya's First Program to Formally Credit Prior Learning Outside Academic Settings


CBET Faculty Meeting at Sigalagala National Polytechnic
Photo taken by Lawi Chiro

November 5, 2020

Humber College has always strived to maximize global learning opportunities. To that end, we have been selected to lead one of the critical components — Recognition of Prior Learning — within the Young Africa Works in Kenya-Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiative.

The four-year initiative, run through a partnership between Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the Mastercard Foundation, will see Humber provide learners in Kenya with formal credit for their experience and knowledge obtained outside of an academic setting.


Learners to Benefit from Increased Work Opportunities

Acquiring this formal credit will prove beneficial as it will result in the increased recruitment, retention and transition of young people for work opportunities in Kenya.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project — part of the Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works strategy — is expected to benefit 10,000 students. The Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy aims to enable five million young people in Kenya to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“What’s exciting about this work is it recognizes that learning, the acquisition of important transferable skills, can happen anywhere. It is a concept that is bigger than classrooms,” said Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa at the Mastercard Foundation.


“It’s important to give validation to the relevant, transferable skills that young people pick up in the course of life and informal work, and to ensure that this recognition we render has social significance. We need to cultivate an inclusive idea of what education means because that’s part of how we enable dignified work for young people,” said Hailu.


Full RPL Implementation Targeted

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) component within Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET initiative is the first project of its kind in Kenya. Humber will support the national government's efforts to achieve full RPL implementation across Kenya's 25 TVET institutes and Centre of Excellence.

Humber's International Development Institute (IDI) will lead a consortium that includes NorQuest College and Red River College, in partnership with Kenyan lead partner, the Kenya National Qualifications Authority, the Technical and Vocation Education and Training Authority and the Ministry of Education. The consortium will engage government, institutional, and community partners in RPL initiatives, including developing guidelines and tools, training the trainers to be assessors and increasing access to youth services.

The project continues the vision in Humber’s Internationalization Strategy of maximizing global learning opportunities by positioning the IDI as the partner of choice for international development projects and training.

"The Kenyan workforce is driven by an estimated 80 per cent of individuals from the informal sector. This collaboration with the Kenyan government will provide pathways for young people, especially uncertified artisans and skilled manual labourers, to gain recognition of their prior learning skills and experience," said Jennifer Cleary, Senior Program Officer for IDI.

"Humber will support the RPL framework roll-out, train RPL assessors, and provide outreach to young people who lack access to education and training or face labour market exclusion due to lack of formal qualifications."

The project builds on the success of the Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) in which Humber led a consortium of Canadian partners to equip Kenyan youth with the skills and qualifications required to compete in the country’s workforce

“We are excited to collaborate with Canadian education institutes and benchmark best practices in building the national RPL capacity to implement recognition of prior learning in Kenya,” said Stanley Maindi, Deputy Director at the Kenya National Qualifications Authority.


Gino Teolis in conversation with the Student Environmental Club
at Kisumu National Polytechnic
Photo taken by Susan Murray


Students at Sigalagala National Polytechnic
Photo taken by Lawi Chiro