The 1st China-Africa TVET Cooperation Conference by Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) and China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) at Intercontinental Hotel was held in Nairobi on 21st June, 2019, the theme of the conference being China-Africa Win-Win Cooperation in Technical Vocation Education.
The Conference included CAPA member heads of institutions from Kenya and a delegation from China led by MS Zhang Junging, Senior Project Officer. The Special Guests were: Mr. Meshak Opwora Director of TVET in the Ministry of Education, Republic of kenya who was ably represented by Mr. Bernard Isalambo, Dr. Evangeline Njoka, the Secretary General, National Commission for UNESCO who was ably represented by Ms Nancy Mbugua. Key note speeches were by The CAPA SG Mrs. Jahou S Faal and the Senior Project Officer, Ms. Zhang Junging. Among the Special Guests were: CAPA Executive Board members; represented well by C. T. Akumu Owuor, KATTI Chairperson, Mrs. Glory Mutungi with the KATTI members and AVIC international, Nairobi among other participants.
It was a unique Conference as it included the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) and China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).
Some of the key discussions included, the need for more collaborations that will promote the student and faculty mobility creating opportunities for students and faculty to learn about vocational and technical education in partner countries through exchange of positions with similar students in partner countries; promotion of school industry cooperation where we can bridge the gap between training and industry through improving performance in terms of training in collaboration with the industry; Embracing and participating in the promotion of Institutions to Institution Cooperation; Overview of the China Vocational education, where the participants were informed of the curricula emphasis on college-based practical training as well as practical training in an industry setting, combining work and learning together.
Exciting speeches that came up during the conference, included an assurance from the Director, TVET that the government of Kenya is ensuring quality and relevance of TVET and has placed policies and legal framework which the TVET institutions are implementing. The Secretary General, CAPA emphasized on the ready skills for the world and encouraged improvement of skills to meet the challenges of a changing society through a dialectical process as knowledge and skills acquisition are shifting in anticipation of future job-markets.
There was an exploration on how Higher Vocational Education can serve industry Development through UNESCO that strives for the transformation of TVET and which encompasses the full range of skills needed for and in the world we work guaranteeing the equality for opportunity for all.
It is hoped that more cooperation, of trainers from universities and institutions, will begin working with trainers from China in enhancement of student exchange programme.