June 24, 2021


What Kenya needs in order to achieve the envisioned growth is a highly skilled rather than highly-educated human capital in today’s marketplace and the shift of mindset could not come at a better time!

More by Winnie Kabintie

KCSE Students Snub Universities for Technical Colleges

KCSE Students Snub Universities for Technical Colleges

TVET courses in Kenya

15,547  who sat for the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams and scored the pass mark for university admission( C+ and above ) opted to enrol for technical and vocational Education and Training (Tvet).

The 15,547 candidates accounted for 10.8 percent of the 143,140 students who qualified to join universities.

10,707 candidates did not apply for degree courses despite meeting the minimum qualifications while 4,840 preferred to enroll for TVET colleges to pursue a diploma or certificate in technical courses, according to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

The surprising move comes in the background of reports that have accused Kenyan universities of churning our half-baked graduates, who lack the requisite technical skills for the job market.

A 2018 Research from the World Bank and the Kenya Promotion Council submitted that Kenyan graduates have been missing out on good jobs because the quality of our university education delivers a mass production of graduates who have certificates without matching academic and technical competence.

These failings arise from inadequate teaching and learning facilities, inadequate and poorly trained academic staff, and increasing academic fraud and poor governance

“This means that the education delivered by universities must not only be accessible, equitable and relevant to the needs of the economy and society, but must also meet high-quality standards. In our view a quality university education should be one that produces graduates who are fit for (having the requisite skills to discharge) their roles and responsibilities in the labour market”, the report stated.

In 2016, the Commission for University Education (CUE) findings revealed that some campuses lack sufficient physical and teaching facilities, which saw the government bar public universities from setting up satellite campuses.

Then the Education Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i, while announcing the restriction, underlined concerns by employers and the private sector on the mismatch between the education provided by public institutions and the needs of the dynamic labour market.

The government, in an effort to bridge this gap, has been revamping institutions of technical learning across the 47 counties.

Technical And Vocational Education and Training Authority(TVETA)

TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) is education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment. TVET uses formal, non-formal and informal learning. TVET is recognised to be a crucial vehicle for social equity, inclusion and sustainable development.

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training ACT (TVET) Act 2013  No. 29 of 2013 was assented to by the president on 14th January 2013. The Act establishes A Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority, whose mandate is to promote access, equity, quality, and relevance in Technical and Vocational Education and Training by regulating, inspecting, registering, accrediting and licensing institutions and programmes.

Dr. Kipkirui Langat was appointed the first Director-General of TVET Authority on 30th April 2015.

Skills over Academic Papers

Today’s marketplace demands a mix of both soft and technical skills, an aspect that has been emphasized by various reports including the Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum.

In 2018, Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani revealed that there was a huge demand for skilled technical workers in Kenya but a massive shortfall between that and the supply of trained electricians, plumbers, mechanics and construction workers, which resulted in thousands of these jobs going to imported skilled labour, particularly from China and India.

At the global stage, employment terms that once placed too much value on the possession of a university degree as the minimum education qualification for job seekers are shifting in favour of experience and multinationals are now opting for additional years of experience in lieu of an a degree.

What Kenya needs in order to achieve the envisioned growth is a highly skilled rather than highly-educated human capital in today’s marketplace and the shift of mindset could not come at a better time!


Kenyan Graduates Brandish Your Degrees but its Diploma Holders that are Taking the Jobs


Related Articles