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Enhancing School-to-Work Transition In Africa

Enhancing School-to-Work Transition in Africa

Young people in Africa face employment challenges, yet they are in a crucial transition stage from dependence to self-reliance. They constitute the continent’s majority and are expected to drive social, economic, and political developments. It is, therefore, crucial to address the challenges the youth face in transitioning from school to work. Demographic pressure, low skill sets, social disintegration, lack of knowledge of the transition process, poor governance and economic stagnation are some factors impeding youth transition to work.

School-to-work transition is a three-stage process that includes preparation through education, actual transition and labour market outcomes. The educational system is important in easing learners’ transition challenges from school to work. Within the education system, it is believed that investing in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can play a significant role in enhancing the school-to-work transition among young people.

As one of the largest TVET providers, Don Bosco should be at the forefront of ensuring a smooth transition of young people to work. Accordingly, Don Bosco Tech Africa held a virtual Annual Stakeholders Assembly (ASA) on September 26th -27th, 2023, to deepen stakeholders’ understanding of the school-to-work process.

The two-day virtual meeting discussed two critical topics that could enhance the school-to-work transition. These are the role of apprenticeship programs and recognition of prior learning.

Br. Francis Mulu, the P-TVET of AFE Province and Principal Don Bosco Boys’ Town Technical Institute, Karen, presented how the apprenticeship program has supported a smooth transition of the institution’s trainees to the world of work. He underscored that for apprenticeship programs to be successful, partnerships with the industries and the government are crucial. The industry’s role is to provide an environment for apprentices to enhance their skills and offer employment. In contrast, the government’s role is to formulate and enforce policies that support apprenticeship and offer certification to these trainees.

In his submission, Mr. Joseph Sambaya, the Regional Manager of TEVETA Malawi, disclosed that the partnership between TEVETA and Don Bosco in Malawi is helping advance the apprenticeship program. He highlighted that Don Bosco has the best infrastructure and equipment and was thus chosen by the authority as the best partner.  This program has helped Malawi bridge the technical expertise gap. Finally, he stated that TEVETA will continue collaborating with Don Bosco in other areas aimed at skill development and improving the young people’s livelihood.

Br. John Njuguna, the Deputy Director of Don Bosco Tech Africa, elaborated on the importance of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in promoting formal economy through employment. He emphasized that to be certified through RPL, one must possess the necessary competencies. RPL provides solutions to unemployment, poverty reduction, occupation promotion, decent jobs, and inclusion. RPL is a win-win intervention that benefits both the learner and the institution. In conclusion, he underscored that it is high time that Don Bosco institutions embrace RPL and push for accreditation as RPL assessment centres.

Mr. Steffen Möhlendick, the Project Manager of Public Cooperation Partners – Don Bosco Mondo, asserted that strengthening the capacity of trainers is critical to improving school-to-work transition. Trainers are motivators and counsellors of the trainees, but they cannot be role models if they do not have a comprehensive skill set.

Fr. Maximus Okoro, the Director of Don Bosco Tech Africa, implored participants to think outside the box to develop creative pathways in collaboration with stakeholders for effective achievement and building responsive TVET delivery that will meet the demands of the ever-evolving world of work, guaranteeing livelihood enhancement.

The two-day virtual meeting was attended by the Province Youth Ministry Delegates (PYD), Province Technical and Vocational Education and Training Coordinators (P-TVET), the Job Service Officers (JSOs), Planning and Development Office (PDO) personnel, TVET centre directors and DBTA partners.


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