Technology Education Department Achieves UNEVOC Network

The Department of Technology Education is one of the pioneer Departments at the University of Eldoret. It was located at the Chepkoilel Campus of Moi University from 1990 shortly after its establishment in 1989 until the Campus evolved into the University of Eldoret which received its charter to operate as an independent institution in 2013. The Department is anchored within the School of Education. It started with four major areas: Building Construction Technology; Electrical and Electronics Technology; Metals (Mechanical) Technology and Power Mechanics (Automotive) Technology. With the growth of ICT, Computer Studies Technology was introduced more recently. Over the years, the Technology Education Department has had some success but has faced some challenges.

The Department has been very successful in creating an upward educational mobility for TVET graduates. Until the introduction of Technical Universities in 2013, TVET graduates could only aspire to reach higher diploma level as the highest qualification. Those wishing to go further had to seek those opportunities outside the country. To this end, scores of graduates of TVET Diploma Colleges have passed through the Department for the award of the Bachelors’ Degrees with some, returning for Masters’ Degrees and now the first cohort of those pursuing the Doctoral Degree are nearing the end of their studies. With acquisition of degrees, TVET graduates have been able to find good professional positions in the field. Those who have remained in teaching have ascended to levels of Headships in Departments and TVET Institutions in the country and even beyond in neighboring countries. Within the education ministry, most of those in leadership position in the TVET Department are graduates of the Technology Education Department at University of Eldoret. Some of the Department’s graduates have found positions outside education in various sectors of the economy.

The other important success of the Technology Education Department is through its Faculty. From a humble beginning of two Lecturers with less than Doctoral Degrees, the Department now has a strong complement of 15 Lecturers with almost all having obtained their Doctoral Degrees. In the early days, the Department had to struggle to find qualified Part time Lecturers to teach relevant courses. Some of its former students have been recruited as Faculty members and have all obtained their doctoral qualifications. At the same time, Faculty members have continued to play important roles both Nationally, Regionally and internationally in the field of TVET as researchers, policy advisors and external examiners. The depth and quality of its Faculty is without doubt, the strongest element of the Technology Education Department.

The Department of Technology Education has been awarded membership to UNEVOC Network and a UNEVOC plaque was presented to the University of Eldoret. The section on the UNEVOC Network in UNESCO’s Comprehensive Partnership Strategy1 stipulates that all UNESCO Centres are established for an initial period of four years, with provision of renewal upon satisfactory performance and by mutual consent. In correspondence with UNESCO’s Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, the UNESCO Network Manual of Operating Procedures2 was published in 2015, which outlines the general rules of engagement of UNESCO Centres and establishes the framework procedures, structures and relationships within the UNEVOC Network. The current UNEVOC membership cycle is from 2016 to 2019, covering two biennial work plans for 2016/17 and 2018/19. The biennial work plan of our organization for 2016/17 has already been submitted to UNESCO and acknowledgement received.

The UNEVOC plaque is a means to maintain visibility of being a member institution of the UNEVOC Network. It should therefore be displayed in an appropriate place within our organization’s premises, preferably close to our ‘UNEVOC physical display and information point’. The manual Chapter 5 Section 4 on ‘Maintaining visibility for the UNEVOC Centre’ gives details about the plaque.

The UNEVOC centre is expected to promote its activities and services to national and local TVET officials, experts and stakeholders. This may include:

  • Establishing a physical display and information point close to its premises to allow TVET officials, experts, stakeholders and visitors to benefit from information and services provided by UNESCO-UNEVOC.
  • Designing and preparing a UNESCO exhibition stand that can be used at relevant events as well as participating actively and visibly in national TVET events such as conferences, exhibitions and job fairs.
  • Drawing attention of local and national media to the UNEVOC Network activities.
  • Maintaining a website in local language(s) that provides UNEVOC related information with reference to the country’s needs.
  • Disseminating promotional materials such as flyers, posters and power point presentations.

The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre maintains a publications programme, with most publications available online or in print upon request from the Network member institutions. These publications can enrich your UNEVOC display, allowing TVET officials, experts, stakeholders and visitors to benefit from information and services provided by UNESCO-UNEVOC. The Department will be receiving printed material and should you be interested in receiving specific printed materials, please get in touch with the Department.

UNESCO-UNEVOC undertakes an active role in strengthening and upgrading the UNEVOC Network with particular reference to:

  • Informing policy dialogue in TVET.
  • Stimulating international and regional cooperation in TVET.
  • Promoting good and innovative practices in TVET.
  • Promoting South-South and North-South-South cooperation among TVET Institutions.
  • Mobilizing expertise and resources.
  • Promoting and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships with relevant agencies.
  • Promoting UNESCO’s normative instruments and standards.

The UNEVOC Network provides an environment for exchange and mutual assistance among TVET experts, Ministries and Institutions worldwide. The Comprehensive Partnership Strategy-UNEVOC Network outlines the three strategic objectives:

  • To improve TVET member states by promoting and fostering international collaboration and partnership and cooperation among TVET practitioners, civil society and local communities, researchers and policy makers.
  • To develop the capacities of UNEVOC Centres and associated TVET practitioners by providing various forms of technical assistance.
  • To share promising practices and innovations in TVET through the promotion of research and practice based evidence.

TVET Institutions that become members of UNEVOC Network are called UNEVOC canters and are admitted to an international knowledge network of TVET institutions acquiring:

  • Access to international expertise and mutual assistance for institutional capacity development.
  • Benefit from mutual learning through the various forms of cooperation, institutional mechanisms and platforms afforded by UNESCO-UNEVOC to its members and;
  • Competence to benchmark their own practices.

This implies that TVET member institutions have a strong motivation to share and contribute their own expertise and to learn from colleagues and partners in other countries and regions.

The overall mission of UNEVOC Centre is to contribute to the improvement of the standards and quality of TVET in the country in close collaboration with the national TVET Institutions and with support from UNEVOC Network.

The Department of Technology Education at the University of Eldoret strives to achieve and maintain all the requirements of a UNEVOC Centre in its core mandate of training TVET teachers for different levels in Kenya.