Habari za Punde

Recognition of Prior Learning pilot succeeds in Zanzibar

The Urban and west Regional Commissioner, Idrisa  Kitwana Mustafa was the guest of honour on the first Recognition of prior learning event to award certificates to succesfull informal skilled workers.
The Urban and west Raeional Commissioner, Idrisa  Kitwana Mustafa awarding certificates to one of the  informally skilled workers at the VTA headquarters after undergoing  a rigorous assessment process by a specialised RPL assessor (trained by the ILO)

 Hussein Juma Hassan was informally training in his occupation. Hussein worked as a welder for 25 years with no institutional training or certification after his high school education came to an abrupt end to financial constraints.   

Hussein’s father ensured that his son had all the skills he could handle; “He took me to a small warehouse in Tanga Region where I was taught how to weld for two years.” For the next 20 years, Hussein has held various informal and formal jobs as a welder. It was during his time working at a government-owned agricultural irrigation project as an irrigation truck and machine repairman and welder, in 2019, that Hussein heard about Zanzibar’s first Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme.

Hussein heard about the RPL programme, which would allow him the chance to be assessed and certified, based on the skills and competencies he had acquired over the years. The programme, run by the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), also offered Hussein a Nationally recognized VTA certificate in welding which could not only raise Hussein’s self-confidence but expand his access to more decent work through better self/employment opportunities.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), which supports the Government of Tanzania to launch and run the programme, defines RPL as a process to identifying, assessing, and clarifying an individual’s knowledge, skills, and competencies regardless of how, when, and where the learning took place against prescribed standards for modular or full qualifications.

 Zanzibar’s adoption of the RPL programme came after the Mainland's widely successful RPL programme, which has certified over 30 000 previously skilled candidates in 10 different occupations between 2014 to 2020.

Hussein joined 171 other informally skilled workers at the VTA headquarters for a rigorous assessment process by a specialised RPL assessor (trained by the ILO)  and received his VTA certificate in April 2021. The certificate and a boost in confidence quickly led to a pay raise. “Less than 3 months after graduating, I was given a 20% increase in my salary. I have a lot of responsibilities at work and I am the unofficial leader of my department, so it was good to see the increase in my salary.” 

Hussein is also a small business owner: “I wanted to use the knowledge I have gained working with experts from Tanzania, Ghana, Canada to open my own welding business.” Hussein wants to retire in the next five years to expand his business as well as train other young welders in his community. His parting words:

“Failing in school is not failing in life, but you should never stop learning.”

Due to the large success of RPL, the Government of Zanzibar has recently approved its first RPL guidelines in a process led by an Internal Ministerial Committee. The committee, comprised of heads of departments in the Ministry of Education and led by the Principal Secretary, approved the guidelines after the successful conclusion of the RPL pilot programme and the certification of 172 candidates in April 2021.

RPL occupations range include; Masonry and bricklaying, food production, food and beverage services, carpentry, tailoring, welding and metal fabrication, plumbing, and pipe firing, electrical installation and auto body repair.

Zanzibar has piloted its RPL programme with four different occupations; welding and metal fabrication, motor vehicle mechanic, tailoring and garment design as well as masonry and bricklaying

VTA Executive Director, Bakari Silima, thanked ILO for supporting the development of the guidelines as well as key partners such as the Zanzibar department of Labour, VETA, Zanzibar Employers’ Association (ZANEMA), and Zanzibar Trade Union Congress (ZATUC). The guidelines will allow VTA to issue nationally recognised modular certification for all successful candidates. This certification can open doors to many of Zanzibar’s informally trained workers, who can use their qualifications to gain access to more decent work and as well as reskilling and upskilling opportunities.

The successful conclusion of Zanzibar’s pilot RPL programme led to the need for concrete guidelines as the programme sets to expand by reaching more beneficiaries specialising in more occupations and in more geographic locations. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

ZanziNews Copyright © 2014

Theme images by Bim. Powered by Blogger.