New proposal to phase out higher diplomas

Sunday August 19 2018

Students attend their graduation ceremony at Kisumu Polytechnic. The higher diploma programme will be phased out. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Higher diploma programmes will be abolished according to a proposal by the Kenya National Qualification Framework Authority.

The authority's chairman, Bonventure Kere, said the decision to phase out higher diplomas was informed by the long duration students take in institutions of higher learning.

“A diploma takes three years then higher diploma two years. That means that someone is in school for five years and when he joins university for a degree programme, he or she starts in third year or second year, that is unfair to a student,” Mr Kere said during a stakeholders workshop to sensitise universities and technical and vocational education training institutions on new qualification framework policy.

On credit transfers according to the regulations, there will be none for certificate courses.

“The person intending to transfer credits shall have earned the credits not more than four years from the date of the application for transfer,” the regulations read.



They go on: “The minimum and maximum number of credits to be transferred in a diploma qualification shall be the equivalent of six months of a course. The maximum number of credits to be transferred in a degree qualification shall be the equivalent of two years of the qualifications.”

When a credit transfer is likely to give an advantage to a student in grade and score at the receiving institution, it will not be approved.

“Globally, National Qualification Frameworks are systems that record the credits assigned to each level of learning to ensure that skills, knowledge and prior-learning are uniformly recognised and accredited throughout their jurisdictions of application,” Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said.

Ms Mohamed explained that credit transfers eliminate devaluation of credits and certifications based on fragmentation and uncontrolled systems, which cause a disconnect between qualifications and the demands of the market.

“Unregulated systems also increase the prevalence of fraudulent and fake certification and cloud the capacity to collect complete and cohesive evidence on a country’s skills landscape,” she said.

Further, Mr Kere scoffed at universities struggling to teach diploma and certificate courses.

He said the universities should focus on teaching undergraduate and post graduate students as well as doing research.