By Kagabo Ishaq
In a bid to improve competency amongst trainees, Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) has organised a workshop with Technical and Vocational Education and Training – TVET assessment working groups to find lasting solutions for producing trainees with the required skills in order to be absorbed in the world of work.
The workshop held at the home of UBTEB in Ntinda, was intended at formulating in consonant with TVET policy and standards, provide advice on how to proceed and how to achieve the defined objectives but also align TVET delivery and assessment in line with NDPIII and TVET Policy 2019.
Speaking to the press at the closure of the workshop on Friday, Ms. Nasaza Jalia, Manager Vocational Education at UBTEB noted that UBTEB needs to establish a collaborative mechanism with the industry to ensure that TVET implementation and assessment meet the requirements of the industry.
“The establishment of TVET working groups with the industry will create a common understanding of the training, assessment and certification of TVET programs and increase the employability of TVET graduates.”
“The establishment of Technical, Vocational assessment working groups is principally to bring closer the world of work to the training and assessment in TVET with the aim of improving the quality of graduates from the TVET system and to improve the level of satisfaction of employers in TVET graduates,” she added.
She said that the working groups will execute their duties through the existing examination and assessment structures of the Board.
Jalia says that the collaboration will also enable them to link the institutions to the companies to the world of work, where they can go and do industrial training.
“So, through these groups, we are going to map out all companies that do those specific trends, and then the institutions for those specific trends and we bring them together.”
“At the end of it all, our dream is to have highly qualified graduates who can meet both the local standards and international standards.”
Ms. Nellie Ssali – Managing Director, Makika Style also an assessor welcomed the collaboration saying that the program is great because it’s going to sharpen the students to much the required skills.
“I for one, I train as I said, the vulnerable and some of these people are school dropouts. When you compare them right now with the ones from the institutions, there is a big difference because mine have hands-on skills.”
She said that they proposed to do one-month institution and one in world of work
Mr. Wilson Bikangaga, CEO Contractors Ltd, Ntinda said that they (business people) have for long rejected students who come out to the training institutions because of their (students) mindset setting to “sit in an air-conditioned office and start writing.”
“But in the real sense, for us in practical work, we don’t need managers. We need people who can produce, people who have had experience at their fingertips,” he revealed.
Just like Nellie, Bikanganga says they have preferred people who never went to school and train them because have nothing to do but also have fewer expectations.
“So you will find that a person who has never been at school is more compatible with the training hands-on than a person who has gone through an institution.”
Partly, Bikangaga blamed the government for not funding well the training to these young people yet they come from poor families that cannot sustain themselves.
He also not that at times they have declined to admit the students on internship “because they come with a negative mindset. By the time he completes one month in your place you have lost a lot and the government does not give us any support.”
“Come and discuss with me and say give me your proposal or business plan. We give you equipment on a loan basis and I can keep on paying it slowly by slowly. In six years I’ll have completed payment on these equipment. There, I have no reason to say I cannot train your Ugandan children.”
“If the government can get out of its comfort and say yes, the way they finance the so called foreign investors, they give them tax holidays, they give them land incentives, they give them cheap electricity, they give them water supplies at subsidized rates. If they can do it to us the locals, then we are able to actually help these people also reach certain levels.”
He added that “But the reason why we don’t accept them most of the time is that I started my business because I also want to create some kind of some kind of sustainability and therefore I cannot start giving you my machine and spoil them and I remain behind spending on repairing and buying new machines.”