What Does NUFFIC Stand For?
NUFFIC stands for Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation. Nuffic is the Dutch organization for internationalization in education. It is an independent, non-profit organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands.
There is a shortage of skilled health workers in Kenya and East Africa. Traditionally, TVET curricula focuses on knowledge. To competently contribute to primary healthcare, graduates also need technical and “soft” skills. This change’s the teaching and requires new educational skills and materials (e-learning, mannikins, and many others). NCMTC, was exhilarated when we received the news that together with our Dutch and Kenyan Partners, we had been awarded a NUFFIC grant to support development of skills in healthcare education. This was a great milestone. This announcement was followed by a series of meetings between NCMTC, Netherlands Embassy, Staff from the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Platform and with the Kenyan Treasury. By 31st March 2020 the preparatory trajectory was completed and we could now start focusing on the implementation of the project. However, just like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic came and disrupted life from mid-March. So, all initial face-to-face meetings and trainings as planned could not take place, and the first thing we had to do was to adjust our plans. However, there was one core area of the project plan that flourished rather than suffered under all the COVID-19 related changes and that was e-learning. By 20th March, when all Kenyan tertiary education institutions had to close for face-to-face learning, North Coast MTC was ahead of the pack and already started computer assisted education. All courses now had to continue through the online system. and those who were behind had no choice but to catch up. The saying “every dark cloud has a silver lining” demonstrated its validity as this created a great momentum in a direction that we wanted to go.
In brief summary the outputs that are to be realized from the project are as follows:
- Skills Meducation BV East Africa established in Kenya as a supplier of a full educational package for skills training including maintenance and training services and the codevelopment of a new TVET diploma course at NCMTC for technicians in biomedical instrumentation
- NCMTC Skills education Centre of Excellence NCMTC together with Skills Med will develop a center of excellence in the field of skills training (pre-service, in-service and postgraduate). Teachers of institutions in Coastal Kenya will be trained to develop and implement skills training, entrepreneurship training and teacher skills (including the development of teacher manuals, student books, equipment, soft skills like communication skills, simulated patients, etc.)
- Community-based Education and Services (COBES) in NCMTC and partner programmes including accessibility to medicine and contraceptives through healthy entrepreneurs. (Soft)skills learnt in NCMTC will be applied in the community and increased access to training programmes for students from marginalized groups/areas, girls etc through the student loan fund.
- Meaningful e-learning modules developed for NCMTC and partner programmes including digitalization of data collection and use of mobile applications for community mobilization and relevant knowledge sharing Target group(s).
Despite the obvious setbacks, it’s not all doom and gloom for NCMTC, with travel restrictions being relaxed at the third quarter of the year we had the honour of hosting the consultant experts in Kenya , the Maastricht university partners coordinating the NUFFIC project. This was also an opportunity of the respective project co ordinators to get reports on the progress and output of the various projects.
These projects will go a long way in making NCMTC one of the leading and renowned institution when it comes to producing well rounded graduands and supporting the community whilst bringing change within the marginalized groups.