An initiative by the Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) and its partners develops curricula for dairy, horticulture and aquaculture value chains
The Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) has officially launched the Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) competency-based curricula for dairy, horticulture and aquaculture, together with its partners. The curricula have been reviewed through consulted efforts of AgriFI Food Safety Programme partners (Central Competent Authorities). AgriFI Food Safety is a six year European Union (EU) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) funded programme whose focus is on food safety (sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards), plant and animal health. The main purpose of the launch was to officially unveil and commission the new curricula for use in ATVET institutions, give publicity to the revised changes, besides recognizing the contribution of donors and partners towards the success of this milestone.
The review of curricula content and the upgrade of the Agricultural Training Centres (ATCs) to ATVET Centres was important because even though the former continue to provide training in agriculture, they can only give internal certificates that are not recognized under Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) which provides for learning progression. MESPT has also developed teaching and learning guides and tailored them on competency-based curricula. In general, the programme sets out to review four curricula with the aim of addressing the inclination of ATVET centres to theory. By advocating for the model, it is envisaged that the training centres will produce graduates who are market-oriented.
By the same token, MESPT and the programme partners reviewed the competency-based curricula for the selected value chains to include food safety elements. The TVET Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) approved the curricula. In essence, the programme is guided by two result areas. One of these areas seeks to strengthen the capacities of actors along the dairy, horticulture and aquaculture value chains through the ATVET model. The said model is applied in the capacity building process and encompasses the curricula development aspect.
The programme has aided the revamping of thirteen Agriculture Training Centres (ATC) in the following counties: Kilifi, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Kisii, Bungoma, Kakamega, Migori, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Makueni, Machakos, Meru and Embu. In this regard, the thirteen institutions will be supported to gain accreditation to ATVET.
Towards this end, it has implemented a series of initiatives. One of the achievements is the accreditation of sixty five institutional trainers for ATVET centres. The accreditation was based on one’s qualification in relation to their chosen specialization. Only three trainers had pedagogy certificates. Pedagogy training will be done this year. Another major achievement is the training of four hundred and sixty five trainers of trainers as well as four thousand value chain actors. The latter includes food handlers, transporters, aquaculture producer groups, horticulture producer groups and dairy producer groups. The training applied the revised curricula and the developed sanitary and phytosanitary standards training guide. About forty three percent of the trained value chain actors were youths (below thirty five years of age).
Moreover, seven institutions have been accredited by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA). Four of these have been confirmed and licensed by TVET CDACC to offer Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET). They are Mtwapa, Kaguru, Bukura and Kisii. Induction and training of ten officers per county on the ATVET model and CBET is scheduled for this year. It will be conducted by TVET CDACC with the support of AgriFi.
The interventions are aimed at making the ATVET centres attractive and profitable training institutions. Improving the capacity of agricultural technical, vocational education and training (ATVET) centres is critical to the implementation of the AgriFI Food Safety programme.
The programme also assessed all the thirteen centres to establish their appropriateness to deliver training. From the assessment, infrastructure emerged as a common challenge. Consequently, it offered infrastructure support to the centres in 2019 and 2020. Key beneficiary institutions included: Embu ATC, Kamweti ATC in Kirinyaga, Machakos ATC, Miyare in Migori, Mabanga in Bungoma and Waruihu in Kiambu. The selected seven model ATVET centres include: Kaguru ATC in Meru, Mtwapa ATC in Kilifi, Kwa-Kathoka ATC in Makueni, Njabini ATC in Nyandarua, Nakuru ATC, Kisii ATC and Bukura ATC in Kakamega.
The support for Embu and Kamweti ATCs was towards furniture and ICT equipment. Machakos ATC infrastructure support involved the renovation of a dilapidated training hall. The seven model ATVET centres were selected based on the willingness of the counties to provide additional support for developing the needed infrastructure. The selected counties were: Kakamega, Kisii, Kilifi, Nakuru, Meru, Makueni and Nyandarua. These model regional ATVET centres received additional resources to address food safety knowledge gaps and stimulate private sector engagement. The support commenced in 2020 and will be completed this year. This phase of investment was focused on the development of infrastructure of the targeted value chains of dairy, horticulture and aquaculture.
AgriFI programme’s partnering competent authorities include : Technical and Vocational Education and Training Curriculum Development, Assessment and Certification Council (TVET CDAAC), Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs), Agriculture and Food Authority – Horticultural Crops Directorate (AFA -HCD), Kenya Fisheries, Kenya Dairy Board, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Ministry of Agriculture – Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), Ministry of Health and the Council of Governors (CoG).