By Timothy Osoro
In a significant development, the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB) has been granted accreditation by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVET) to introduce Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses, aligning with the TVET Act of 2013, Section 1.
On the 8th of September 2023, Mr. Andrew Too, a Technical Assistant from the TVET, presented a prestigious certificate and training license to the administrators at Baraton. The occasion marked a pivotal moment for UEAB, as they were officially authorized to offer 16 diverse TVET programs.
Mr. Andrew Too expressed his delight in presenting the accreditation certificate to the university, emphasizing the rigorous assessment process that led to this momentous event. He stated, “The University sought accreditation to provide TVET programs, underwent a comprehensive evaluation, and today, we are pleased to issue this training license and TVET accreditation certificate right here at Baraton.”
During an interview with Dr. Paul Wahonya, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academics at UEAB, it was revealed that the accreditation process had been a five-year journey, culminating in this exciting opportunity for the institution to offer TVET courses. TVET programs are recognized as an invaluable means to acquire technical knowledge and practical skills necessary for various careers in today’s society.
Dr. Wahonya expressed his sentiments, saying, “The process of securing TVET accreditation has been a lengthy one, approximately five years since our initial application. However, we believe that divine timing is at play here, and this is the right moment. It has been a journey marked by patience and determination.”
Dr. Wahonya also clarified that the introduction of TVET programs at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton does not diminish its status as a university. He stated, “No, this development does not diminish our university status. What it means is that Baraton now has the opportunity to enroll more diploma and certificate students in a variety of courses. However, this does not affect our degree programs; both degree and TVET students will pursue their courses independently according to their respective requirements.”
In line with the TVET Authority’s 2023/24 – 2027/28 plan, the authority has accredited over 2,300 TVET institutions, licensed more than 6,800 trainers, approved 457 Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) curricula, and conducted quality audits on over 1,300 TVET institutions. Additionally, the authority has been actively involved in disseminating information on TVET services, procedures, standards, and regulations through numerous outreach events and platforms.
The TVET program’s mandate is to enhance access, equity, relevance, and quality in technical and vocational education and training while also fostering research and innovation. This mandate is executed by various institutions and agencies, including the State Department for TVET, Kenya School of TVET, National Polytechnics, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and Vocational Training Centers, as outlined in the 2022 Education Sector report.
To ensure the sustainability of the TVET program, UEAB has embarked on a comprehensive marketing and promotional strategy, targeting international audiences, given the diverse student body hailing from countries such as South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, and beyond.
Dr. Wahonya shared their plans, saying, “Marketing and promotions are integral to the success of this initiative. Additionally, we have initiated Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with nearby Technical colleges, including Aldai and Namgoi Technical colleges.”
The accreditation to offer TVET programs marks another academic milestone for the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. Dr. Wahonya highlighted the achievements of their students, who have brought recognition and honor to the institution through various projects and competitions.
“There have been remarkable successes among our students, who have proudly represented Baraton. For instance, Mr. Ombati showcased a project at the Innovation Week in Nairobi, securing a grant worth 500,000 KES. In the Huawei challenge, some of our students excelled in the exam, with one advancing to the regionals and claiming the third-place position,” Dr. Wahonya stated.
Dr. Kamundi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Student Affairs and Services (SAS) at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, extended a warm invitation to all prospective students to join the institution and enroll in TVET programs. He assured potential learners that the education provided by UEAB would be of exceptional value in today’s global context.
Dr. Kamundi conveyed the message, “Welcome to the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. We are now offering TVET programs. For application inquiries, please contact us at ueab.ac.ke. I also extend our gratitude to the TVET Authority for accrediting Baraton University to provide TVET programs.”
A recent joint study by the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has highlighted the critical need to align TVET systems in many low- and middle-income countries with the demands of the labor market. Dr. Wahonya envisions UEAB’s role in education as a combination of skill acquisition, service to humanity, and ethical values, encapsulating the model of “Head, Hand, and Heart.”
“In the near future, I see our institution evolving into a prestigious establishment, offering courses we might not have considered before, such as Law, Aerospace, and Cyber-related disciplines,” he added.
Despite the government’s decision not to allocate government-sponsored students to private universities, the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton remains optimistic about the increasing number of students enrolling in the institution. Dr. Wahonya revealed that discussions with the government regarding the new education model have made substantial progress.