The Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Training Authority (Teveta) has said plans are underway to start accrediting foreign examination boards that are administering vocational skills examinations in the country to meet local standards and requirements.
The authority said the decision has come about after realising that some examination boards are not even accredited in countries they are headquartered, hence the need to sanitise the sector.
Teveta Executive Director Elwin Sichiola was speaking in Mzuzu City Wednesday during business breakfast with stakeholders who usually employ graduates from technical colleges.
During the interaction, Sichiola asked employers to prioritise Tevet certificate holders when recruiting.
“The challenge we have observed is that, apart from the Malawi Tevet certificate, there are other qualifications. Some of these qualifications are good while others are not.
“So, as regulator, what we have done is to come up with guidelines for accrediting foreign examination bodies and, once we finish the gazetting process, all we will do is subject every foreign examination body to local accreditation to ensure that it aligns with our policies and direction,” he said.
Sichiola added that they have plans to turn the Assessment and Certification Unit operating under the Ministry of Labour, which administers the Tevet Certificate, into a standalone organisation.
Department of Technical and Vocational Education Training Deputy Director in the Ministry of Labour, Chifundo Lozeni, concurred with Teveta on the need to accredit foreign examining bodies for standard qualifications.
Kawandawa Hills Plantations Human Resource Officer Temwa Msowoya Human admitted that, all along, they held the perception that Tevet certificate holders are half baked.
“We should admit that we were not really recognising Tevet certificates as we did with other bodies and the perception we had is that graduates from technical colleges are half baked. But today’s meeting has changed the narrative and it’s my message to all employers that holders of Tevet certificates should be a priority,” she said.
In 2017, the Malawi Government harmonised three certificates into the Malawi Tevet Certificate which was aligned to the Southern African Development Community protocol on transferability of qualifications.