Delegates from Kenya embarked on tours of North Island College’s Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses this month as part of an initiative to increase employment opportunities for young people, particularly women, in the East African country.
NIC is working with Vancouver Island University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology as partners in the Young Africa Works in Kenya: Youth Employability Through Technical and Vocational Education and Training initiative.
The international initiative is being implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. It is part of a five-year initiative (2020-2025) with the Kenyan Ministry of Education, relevant government agencies and the private sector to increase youth workforce education in Kenya’s four major sectors: manufacturing, affordable housing, universal health care and food security, as well as the digital sector.
“North Island College is honoured to collaborate with provincial and international colleagues to strengthen opportunities for knowledge sharing and the advancement of timely trades and technical skills training,” said Dr. Cheryl O’Connell, Dean, Faculty of Trades and Technical Programs. “This project is an opportunity to contribute to the college internationalization efforts and also to expand on meaningful partnerships with our colleagues in Canada and in Kenya.”
The Kenyan delegation connected with instructors and students at the two NIC campuses.
“We were able to explore the trades programs at both the Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses. As a result, we have come to better understand about the opportunities being developed in Kenya for students,” said Romana Pasca, NIC’s Manager, International Projects, Partnerships & Global Education.
The initiative, led by VIU, will see the Canadian partners institutions work with two Kenyan institutions — Kisii National Polytechnic and Keroka Technical Training Institute — to develop new programs in electrical, welding, and mechanical trades, while at the same time providing new opportunities for the staff and faculty of the Canadian institutions to apply their skills and knowledge internationally.
“The partnership will allow us to develop curriculum together, so that we can have common training practices,” said David Mwangi, Principal, Kisii National Polytechnic.
“It has been important for us to see the kind of facilities and type of equipment needed for these programs in Canada. We also have been interested to learn more about the pathways for students: where to start students with varying levels of education and experience, and where each level of training should begin and end.”
Over the next three years, new competency-based courses will be rolled out at each of the Kenyan partner institutions.
“We’re developing the courses in close collaboration with our Kenyan partners and putting a focus on competency-based teaching practice,” said Darrell Harvey, VIU’s manager of global engagement. “That’s really at the heart of the second phase of this partnership, so our Kenyan colleagues can build internal capacity to support effective teaching and learning in the long term.”
“For our institutions, it is crucial for us to learn about how the Canadian colleges are finding connections with industry and their communities, so that they can develop successful opportunities for students,” said Haron Maosa, Principal, Keroka Technical Training Institute. “We have explored discussions about funding models and how the relationship between apprentice and journeyman works to inspire and motivate students.”
Funding from the Mastercard Foundation will help to ensure students in the Kenyan programs will use up-to-date equipment and technology to practice, so they are well prepared for work in the industry.
To explore more about NIC’s international partnerships with institutions around the world visit: www.nic.bc.ca/international.
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