Kenyan don selected as finalist in prestigious global award

Former Principal at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) in Nakuru City Dr Daniel Mutai speaks in his office

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

A little-known teacher in technical and vocational Education and Training (TVET) is on the verge of putting Kenya on the world map for his work.

Dr Daniel Mutai, a former principal at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) in Nakuru City, is a finalist in the fifth edition of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2022 TVET Excellence for All Awards.

Dr Mutai, a career educationist in technical education, is the only Kenyan nominated for the global award, whose winner will be announced during the WFCP World Congress to be held in Donostia-San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain from June 15-17.

The congress, touted as the largest professional and technical education event in the world, will be attended by more than 700 delegates from 50 countries and six continents.

Dr Mutai, who retired as RVIST principal in February, has been recognised for his exemplary institutional and community leadership and inclusion.

The soft-spoken don has been at the forefront in providing insight and examples that can be adopted and applied to post-secondary institutions to make a difference for the communities they serve.

"We are delighted to inform you that you are a 2022 Awards of Excellence finalist in the Leadership in Diversity and inclusion category," read the invitation letter signed by Lyne Dalby, WFCP programme officer.

"The award results will be announced during our 2022 World Congress in San Sebastian, Spain in June 2022. During the international event, your award (gold, silver or bronze) will be revealed."

Dr Mutai will be competing for gold against acclaimed global winners, including Dr Jane Ngobia of Sheridan College in Canada.

Dr Mutai's work will now be part of the fourth volume of the World's Best Practice Guide in Professional Technical Education and Training.

Former Principal at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) in Nakuru City Dr Daniel Mutai speaks to journalists and members of the management in his office in a past function.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

Dr Mutai has a Bachelor of Education (Technology Education), a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Communication and Technology from Moi University.

Before his retirement, he was a principal at various technical training institutes and national polytechnics, including Bureti, Shamberere, Eldoret National, and RVIST.

He has also supervised and guided the establishment of four young technical training institutions with minimum resources like Bureti, Belgut Vocational Training College and Kericho Township Vocational College.

The global event in Spain is organised by the Basque centre TKNIKA and the congress will feature keynote speeches by leaders in the field and dedicated sessions on some of the current most pressing issues in the field of TVET, including the future of work, equity and inclusion, migration and sustainability.

The congress will also deliberate on how best to support and recognise vocational excellence, strategic partnerships, skill development, networking as colleges and institutes offering higher vocational education technical training, digitisation, career guidance, the needs of young people and adult career changes to address the changing nature of work.

The sessions will also discuss one tertiary system, manufacturing for Centres of Vocational Excellence (COVES), training for the future, and the impact of artificial intelligence in vocational education training, including challenges and opportunities.

Dawn Ward of the United Kingdom, the president of WFCP, will be among the keynote speakers in a lineup that also includes two Kenyans – Kevit Desai, principal secretary in the State Department for East Africa Community (EAC), and Ms Jahou Bah Faal of the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa.

Other speakers are drawn from Spain, Canada, Uruguay, Australia, Pakistan, Brazil, China, United Arab Emirates, Malta, Jamaica, Italy, India, and the United States.


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