DR.ESTHER.GACICIO | 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Back then, we did not have wide-spread internet access like we do today and many learners in some parts of the country had to travel long distances to use cyber cafes for their online lessons. However, many students and teachers embraced the use of technology in learning, both during and after the COVID-19.
From our experience, the typical training programme has some limitations in terms of the amount of time learners get. The amount of engagement between learners and instructors is limited and this often leads to poor outcomes. Through ELS, our aim is to address the yawning gap between the cadre of skilled graduates that enter the job market and the requirements of employer. One thing employers will tell you is that in Kenya, we are not short of good resumes. People write very good CVs but when the person and the CV appear in front of you, they are totally disconnected.
The Deloitte report explains that, now, possibly more than ever, there appears to be an impetus for employees to bring their “soft” skills - such as creativity, leadership, and critical thinking -to work. While traditionally referred to as “soft skills,” in reality these capabilities are critical to delivering business value and adapting hard skills as workforce needs change. ELS was launched in a bid to prepare graduates with soft skills in anticipation of the job market. People have good hard skills and execute what they are trained very well, but when you put them in the job market, they miss so many things. For instance, interpersonal skills. Many can’t work well in a team, they lack presentation skills, flexibility and adaptability and these things are not taught in school. We rolled out self-paced and interactive courses on smart knacks for life. Learners are instructed on must-have skills in today’s world of work and given the option to pursue their training further if they so wish. The programme is targeted at interns, those in the college studies, graduate trainees, new employees, people already in the workplaces and those interested in upskilling.
As you are aware, the government of Kenya has put in a lot of emphasis and resources towards the support of Stem courses in all Tvet institutions. In view of this, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the country derives value for money from the huge resources invested in TVET for support of Stem subjects. If you are trying to train a welder, for example, he will also need business skills. So, removing those modules from the curriculum is a disservice to this person. These skills are interdependent to form a complete person because we do not want to produce robots. policymakers can draw lessons from the tech boom ,the country witnessed in the 2000s where the technological innovation and software development really took off in Kenya but when these entrepreneurs launched start-ups they realized they did not have the requisite business acumen. That is why entrepreneurship became a big thing and we started offering modules in business studies which are still going on to date.
we have formed partnerships with higher learning institutions including Riara University which we recently graduated the first cohort of students from the ELS apprenticeship training hub. We are also reaching out to human resource practitioners and employment agencies that head hunt for top talent. Education sector officials need to reach out to other stakeholders in the private sector to ensure that changes to the curriculum take into account the changing nature of the workplace. We still have some bit of silo mentality where a lot of stakeholders involved often don’t seem to be talking to each other which slows down any industry-wide interventions. I would propose a scenario where all the stakeholders come together at one table. We’ve all talked about the skills that are lacking and the challenges this brings in the world of work but there is less discussion about the solutions. My hope is that we can instill these soft skills into our curriculum because they are integral in the formation of complete social individuals who can contribute positively to society.
We are living in unprecedented times, the social fabric is tearing and in the next few years, we will have a ‘crazy’ society. These skills need to be re-integrated into society.
Harriet 1 day, 2 hours ago