At Nkuru Vocational Training College, the majority of the students attend for two years to learn a vocational skill from scratch. The four main vocational skills on offer are: catering, construction, fashion and design, and hair and beauty. The nature of the qualification means that at the end of the two years, the students have two days of exams, but the emphasis is strongly weighted in terms of the practical rather than the written.
This year, for the first time, there were some additional students sitting their exams who hadn’t been attending college for two years. These students are guys who have been working as builders for many years, who are very skilled and knowledgeable in the trade, but who don’t have any sort of paperwork or qualification to show just how skilled they are. And whilst its not all about the qualifications, for these guys, they relished the idea of being able to have a certificate that acknowledges this skillset.
The builders were therefore allowed to sit the exams alongside the students who recently they had been working alongside on building sites, as the students honed their skills through the use of practice-based learning methodology.
At the end of the exam period, the examiners were pleased to announce that all the students had passed with flying colours, and would be awarded their qualifications in due course. For the students, it was a welcome message that they had achieved the qualification towards which they had been working for two years. For the builders it was a moment of great happiness as their dream of achieving a certificate to show their skill levels was finally realised.
Pictured below are students (including builders) taking their construction exams, and also some of the hair and beauty students undergoing their final exams.