The National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) is a state corporation established under the Industrial Training (Amendment) Act of 2011. Its vision is to prepare a globally competitive and adequate workforce for industrial development and its mission is to provide quality industrial training for enhanced productivity. This vision and mission resonated well with the intentions of Kaanan for its competency based secondary education programme. The management of Kaanan then approached Kisumu Industrial Training Institute with a partnership proposal.

Kisumu Industrial Training Centre (KITC) is one of the five DIT training centres under NITA. The centre was established in 1971 with donor assistance from Denmark. (DANIDA). The centre was further expanded under phase ll where the World Bank and Kenya government provided assistance in setting up buildings while DANIDA assisted in the provision of equipment. Today the centre is fully funded by the Government of Kenya while National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) is playing a greater role in improving training standards in KITC.

From its funding sources, KITC has the requisite personnel, equipment and experience to design a suitable curriculum that would be manageable to the school going youths undertaking their courses. As a start, the skill areas that KITC and Kaanan have settled on for apprentice level training with the pilot group of students are:
  • Building and construction
  • Electrical and wiring
  • Motor mechanics
  • Fashion and design
  • Information and communication technology.
The initial plan is for the high school students to sit the craft level trade test by the end of form two, the intermediate level exam in form three which then leaves them free to concentrate in KCSE exams in form four.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that the premise behind competency based (alternative) schooling is that “one size doesn’t fit all.” In other words, not all students will thrive or reach their full potential in the traditional comprehensive school. Alternative schools offer a different structure, learning philosophy, or academic emphasis to accommodate different learner needs, interests, and learning styles. The effective use of such instructional strategies as independent study, community-based education, focused or thematic education, and flexible scheduling increases attendance, improves performance while fostering student engagement. This is what the pioneering class at Kaanan Education Centre hopes to showcase in Kenya.