Govt to build vocational school in every district

By Apollo Mubiru

The education ministry will prioritize the promotion and establishment of regional centers of excellence in Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET).

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The Government will construct a vocational school for each district by the end of 2021, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni has said.

The ministry will prioritize the promotion and establishment of regional centers of excellence in Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) institutions to ensure production of critical mass of relevant technical skills.

(BTVET) training is delivered through a network of more than 110 government training centers, schools, institutes and polytechnics.

Addressing a news conference in Kampala yesterday on what her ministry has achieved, Mrs Museveni said Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba, UTC Kikwamba, UTC Bushenyi and Bukalasa Agricultural College are to be transformed into centres of excellence in oil and gas, construction, manufacturing and agricultural.

“To ensure production of a critical mass of relevant technical skills, four international twinning institutions have been contracted for curriculum review, adaption and training of the faculties in the four colleges,” the First Lady said. 

She said the lower secondary curriculum was reviewed under 20 subjects based approach designed along competences acquired as opposed to objectives with learners expected to select 8-9 subjects. This is expected to start in 2019/20 financial year.

Among the achievements mentioned include: construction of 356 class rooms in 54 selected primary schools, 53 administration blocks and 108 five stance VIP latrines for boys and girls countrywide.

The ministry procured a total of 318,131 copies of both P.4 Integrated science and SST pupil books, 39,000 copies of teachers’ guide and monitored 230 schools in selected 19 districts.

The minister said 17 facilities were completed in 9 public universities and business incubation centers were constructed in Gulu, MUBS, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Kyambogo.

Ten Primary Teacher Training Colleges and three National Teachers Colleges were expanded. There has also been the construction of Seed Secondary schools in various places across the country.

In sports, the ministry will support the construction of sports facilities throughout the country and support all  sports associations to identify and nurture talent at local national level and increase Uganda’s athletes’ exposure to international events to enable them gradually excel and break international records.

“We shall work closely with different sports associations and develop a plan and facilitate national teams to participate in international tournaments when they qualify,” the minister assured.

The First Lady said that the funding for National Council of Sports was increased to sh11.6b to cater for FUFA, Commonwealth games, Netball Team and other sports associations.

The minister noted the increasing number of sub counties without any form of secondary schools caused by creation of new districts despite the construction of secondary schools.

She appealed to parents, local governments and all stakeholders to provide lunch to school going children.

“The Government does not have money to feed children at school. I am hoping that my campaign of calling upon parents to provide their children with lunch will yield results. If lunch is provided, it will reduce pupil absenteeism and drop outs,” the First Lady said.

Mrs Museveni said that although, Government has not yet provided funds for the provision of sanitary towels to girls in schools, she was optimistic that funds would be availed in future. She said her ministry has not given up on the promise but when funds are availed, it will implemented.