The Vocational Village is a community centre in a rural area where villagers can receive vocational and entrepreneurial skills training. Learners can put their newly acquired skills to practical use by either seeking employment from someone else or by creating a ‘business group’, which is a group of five to ten participants that agree to start a village enterprise, cottage industry or income generating activity together.
Entrepreneurial skills are defined by the Ministry of Education and Culture as “the ability of basic entrepreneurship skills trained through productive learning and income generating skills which could raise literacy levels and income of learners, either individually or collectively as one of the efforts of literacy enhancement as well as poverty alleviation.”
The aims of the Vocational Village Program are:
* To foster skills and self-reliance
* To manage national resources without damaging the environment
* To create business groups for the establishment of village commercial villages and village enterprises based on local potential and skills
* To provide information, marketing networks and to help in the acquisition of a production license
* To become an independent organizational mechanism
Recruitment of Facilitators
Three parties work together to ensure the smooth operation of the Vocational Village Programme: These are the Vocational Village Committee, the VVI Program Assistant and the VVI facilitators. The committee is chosen by members of the community and the Programme Assistant must be a professional with experience in the field of vocational skills training. Programme facilitators are volunteers, business practitioners, institutions related to the specific vocational skills taught in the particular Vocational Village (e.g. Hairdressing and beauty Therapy, automobile Mechanics, food and beverage production, agribusiness), or university lecturers, or teachers from vocational schools or other academic institutions.
For the original Vocational Village in Busia County, However, most facilitators did not require training since they were recruited as experts in their fields of interest.
Recruitment of Learners
Learners are from the local area where the Vocational Village is established. They are recruited by the Vocational Village Committee based on what they intend to do with the skills they would learn and which resources they have available.
Teaching and Learning Methods
There were different Technical and Vocational courses available at the Vocational Village: Each course had a training design, a curriculum, a syllabus and learning materials, and consisted of 30 % theory and 70 % practical work. The curricula are developed by the committee in cooperation with experts in each area of skills training.
Example of a Vocational Village established by Village Ventures International is The Women’s Academy