A project collaborative agreement on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Support Scheme was signed, today, between the Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) and the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower in Ebène during the launching ceremony of a workshop on RPL and Portfolio Development. The agreement, to the tune of some Rs 1.2 million, will subsidise the costs of the RPL and Portfolio Development training and initially cater for a cohort of some 100 candidates.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Senior Chief Executive at the ministry, Mr S. Ragen, underlined that the RPL Support Scheme targets mainly employees, self-employed people or individuals with no formal qualification but who have acquired substantial work experience of some three years. Under the scheme, he said, candidates will have to pay only some Rs 500 as an enrolment fee to undergo RPL training.
The scheme, he indicated, has been developed in line with Government's commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. He added that the RPL will contribute to creating a professional ethos and encourage individuals to unlock their potential in various fields as well as to further develop their competencies by acquiring higher qualifications.
For her part, the Chairperson of the MQA, Mrs S. Kowlessur, recalled that the RPL, developed in 2016, is a critical stepping stone in the field of education and training to improve the employability and mobility of individuals with no formal qualifications. As regards the National Qualifications Framework, she underlined that it stays as a central backbone of our educational system and plays a crucial role in the education and training system. She added that continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress will help identify to which extent the RPL is being effectively implemented.
Also present at the event, the Chairperson of the HRDC, Mr G. Balnock, spoke of the need to attach equal importance to academic and vocational fields adding that a pool of various skills and expertise is required for shaping the progress of any country. The RPL, he said, must be seen as a gateway to higher education which promotes lifelong learning process whereby candidates have the opportunity to enhance their employment prospects and further develop their knowledge.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
RPL is an assessment process that recognises skills and knowledge acquired outside formal education system against a given set of standards, competencies and learning outcomes. The RPL process is carried out by way of an assessment for a duration of three months and the preparation of a portfolio which culminates in the issue of a recognised certificate which is equivalent to a certificate obtained successfully through a formal course of study.
The MQA in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, and the Mauritius Institute of Education had initiated the RPL project in the field of Special Education Needs sector on a pilot basis with a small cohort in a quest to professionalise and address the lack of skilled professionals therein.
After the successful completion of the pilot project and in view to extend the RPL to other candidates, the MQA decided to officially launch the RPL project for other fields such as construction, tourism and hospitality.