The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vocational education and training in Kenya: a study of West Pokot County

This paper focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education system in Kenya with reference to vocational training institutions. The paper analyses how the provision of vocational training was impacted after COVID-19 from the perspective of principals of colleges, tutors, and students. The paper collected qualitative experiences of the above-mentioned stakeholders to understand to which degree vocational education has been affected by COVID-19. This was accomplished through the use of interviews, questionnaires, and document analysis. The study has found that the Covid-19 pandemic completely disrupted learning in six public VTCs as institutions were closed and students and tutors did not meet or interact for more than eight months. It was impossible for a work-based learning model to be used by students after institutions were closed because even the industries and businesses where they were supposed to undertake their practicum and internship programmes downscaled their operations, while others closed down completely. After reopening of VTCs in January 2021, close to 34.8% of their former students did not report back because some of them dropped out, some could not pay fees, some engaged in alcoholism, drugs, and substance abuse, some emigrated to other areas to look for opportunities while some settled down in marriage. It is recommended that guidance and counselling should be continuously provided to tutors and students as a way of addressing the psychological and behavioural challenges brought about by COVID-19, tutors need to be trained on remote learning methodologies (digital skills) and county governments need to invest in setting up infrastructure to support online learning in VTCs. 

This article has appeared in the European journal of education studies, volume 10, no. 3. 

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Author(s) / editor(s)

Nelly C. Andiema and Ton Dietz

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Nelly C. Andiema is a Lecturer of Psychology and ECDE at Kibabii University Kenya.

Ton Dietz is Emeritus Professor of African Development Studies at Leiden University.

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