The theme for this year’s World Youth Skills Day is Skills for a Resilient Youth in the Era of COVID-19 and beyond. Designated by the General assembly in 2014, the World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
According to the UN, 226 million youth aged 15-24 live in Africa. That said, rising youth unemployment is one of Africa’s biggest challenges. There has also been an upward trend in the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET). Enter COVID-19 and the problem only gets worse.
This year has seen colleges and TVET institutions shut down due to COVID-19, threatening the continuity of skills development. In Kenya, all learners are currently affected by school closures across all education levels.
Respondents to a survey of TVET institutions, jointly collected by UNESCO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank, g reported that distance training has become the most common way of imparting skills, with considerable difficulties regarding, among others, curricula adaptation, trainee and trainer preparedness, connectivity, or assessment and certification processes.
In post-COVID-19 societies, as young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, they will need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.
So, in this post-covid 19 era, we at RVIBS vow to continually skill, re-skill and up-skill our students to ensure they remain relevant. If anything, this pandemic has shown us the importance of remaining not only resilient in times of difficulty but also how to align ourselves with the rest of the world. The only solution is to continue to equip our students with the tools and skills to not only survive, but to thrive. We will continue to do so through a combination of online and distance learning and in-classroom teaching as guided by the Ministry of education.
So, as we celebrate the World Youth Skills Day today, take the bold step of empowering yourself with skills that will change your life for the better.