Government is committed towards ensuring that there is a system for recognising and certifying knowledge and skills that citizens who acquired their skills informally outside the formal training environment are recognised at the workplace, said Godfrey Kafere, Director of Technical and Vocational Training in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development.
Speaking in Salima on Friday when he officially opened the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Guidelines Validation Workshop, Kafere said most skilled citizens are lowly regarded at workplace because they have no formal qualifications, a situation which he said put them at a disadvantage when it comes to remuneration and career advancement.
He said it was for this reason that Ministry of Labour partnered with International Labour Organisation (ILO) to put in place RPL, a process for recognising and certifying knowledge and skills acquired outside the formal training environment.
Said Kafere: “The RPL will benefit both the employer and individuals. To an individual, it is a second chance of getting a qualification either directly or indirectly if the applicant is allowed to resume formal study without the academic prerequisite, which is a passport for a decent job. On the part of the employer, it brings transparency, by making competences visible and matching jobs and employees skills, thereby fostering a better productivity.”
He, therefore, commended the ILO for supporting Government of Malawi to put in place a system for recognising and certifying knowledge and skills acquired outside the formal training environment and developing clearly defined RPL system which will be aligned to the Sadc RPL guidelines.
Kafere said the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (Tevet) Policy provides for the development and implementation of a systematic process for recognising prior learning outcomes.
Speaking on the side lines of the workshop, ILO Chief Technical Adviser Naomy Lintini said she was happy that the stakeholders had finally reached a consensus to validate the RPL guidelines.
“ILO has set aside funds for piloting RPL programme in the Construction Sector. It is now up to government to put in place policies and procedures for rolling out of this programme,” Lintini said.
The day-long workshop which among others drew stakeholders from Malawi Confederation of Chambers and Commerce and Industry, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi, Malawi National Examinations Board, ILO and Teveta was aimed at validating and adopting the proposed National Recognition of Prior Learning Guidelines which were first presented to various stakeholders in November, 2016.
According to ILO, RPL is a process used to identify, assess and certify a person’s knowledge, skills and competencies regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred – against prescribed standards for a part (modular) or full qualifications. The process, according to ILO, can help a person acquire a formal qualification that matches their knowledge and skills and, thus, contributing to improving employability, mobility, lifelong learning, social inclusion and self- esteem.
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