Building Resilient TVET Institutions in Kenya amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
A country's economy depends on the proportion of educated and skilled workers in the labour market. Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) prepares the youth to enter the labour market by developing skills, knowledge and attitudes. A 2015 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on labour market mismatch and labour productiveness reported that the industry could not find people with the right skills. Additionally, in a study by Dalberg in 2019, the respondent stated that it was difficult for youth to transition from education to employment as they lacked the skills and experience needed by employers. This situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to almost a yearlong closure of educational institutions in Kenya. This disruption affected over 2,000 TVET institutions and half a million youth. Unlike other forms of education, TVET heavily depends on practical training which was made impossible by their closures for about 10 months in 2020. This paper will explore the impact of COVID-19 on TVET training and the response mechanisms employed by TVET institutions both in the short term and in the long term. The study combined knowledge generated from a desktop literature review and primary data based on a random sample of 211 TVET institutions targeting 315 trainers and 644 trainees in all the 8 regions. Emerging evidence on the effect of this closure points to youth despair indicated by drug abuse, school dropout cases, and early pregnancies. The study recommends practical measures that will ensure continued learning even amid a pandemic. It further recommends implementing a hybrid model of training that emphasizes technology that will lessen the impact in the future.
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