Vocational student numbers rise
John Masaba
Journalist @New Vision

Enrolment to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has increased by about 27%, UBTEB, a government body in charge of assessing vocational education, has said.

The development is offering hope that, finally, more Ugandans are starting to appreciate TVET education in Uganda.

“We have seen many people joining TVET over the last 10 years, from an initial 28,000 in 2011 to the current almost 103,000 candidates we assess,” Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board’s executive secretary, Onesmus Oyesigye, said.

He also said the institution has been able to standardise vocational studies in Uganda, which has improved the quality of TVET graduates and increased faith in vocational education in the country.

He said at the time TVET started in the country, ‘every institution was awarding its own qualifications’ and ‘it was becoming katogo (chaotic).’

“However, now we have one standard assessment board,” he said. 

He added that there has also been increasing female student uptake, which is a move in the right direction in the bid to reduce the gender gap.

He said other markers, such as retention, have also increased as well as technical capacity and human resource.  

Oyesigye made the remarks yesterday ahead of the UBTEB’s 10-year commemoration due next week.

The board was established through an Act of Parliament, the Business Technical Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Act of 2008.

Speaking about the journey, however, he said there is more that needs to be done.

He said the legal framework of the TVET education in Uganda is not well streamlined.

“There are many conflicting laws in the education sector and those laws, sometimes, impede on our operations,” he said.

He also explained that they have also had a problem of underfunding, which he said also affects operation of the TVET subsector.

Under the TVET policy 2019, the Government recognises that effective technical skills are vital for the individual, enterprise and the economy since they lead to self-reliance at the family level, increased productivity, profits and higher incomes for the country.

The TVET policy, therefore, is in a bid to support the creation of needed employable skills and competencies relevant for the national transformational labour market as opposed to just acquisition of educational certificates.

It targets all Ugandans in need of skills for employment.

Making TVET popular

In a bid to popularise TVET, government has been rolling out a number of reforms in the sector, such as introducing modular assessment.

According to UBTEB’s executive secretary, Onesmus Oyesigye, this is being done as part of the Competence Based Assessment model, where they are putting emphasis on ‘seeing evidence consistently recorded, to ensure the trainees gain competencies that measure to the employers’ expectations.

He said the assessment will make the trainees access assessments at their convenience and affordability.

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