A one man’s dream to promote Vocational and Technical Education in Uganda

Alfred Ntagungira is passionate about vocational training himself being an instructor. Often times, vocational skilling is talked about but few know what to do thereafter. Here is a detailed breakdown of all you need to do and about vocational and technical education in Uganda.

One of the strategic choices a student and their parent can make after UNEB exams; Primary seven (PLE), Lower secondary (UCE) & Upper Secondary (UACE) is to join Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) also known as BTVET in Uganda.

The benefit of vocational training is that a student can get a job after completion of their first course or even start up their own small business enterprise. This means that as a parent, you are relieved from the burden of paying school fees, and the child can therefore support themselves to the next level as they will be earning some money already.

This therefore implies that the parent can concentrate on guiding the child on their career with also some small financial support.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training for a Primary Leaver.

A PLE leaver is eligible for enrollment in a TVET school in a skill of their choice, at the end of which the student attains a Certificate of Competence from DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training). This is a nationally and internationally recognized assessing body just like UNEB with emphasis on practical skills and quality standards.

With a DIT certificate, a student can still upgrade from DIT Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, up to the equivalence of Bachelor’s degree, Masters, and Doctorate in the DIT Levels of that particular skill/profession. These levels can be achieved in a shorter period, considering the fact that this student gains knowledge and skills in only a specific area of choice/profession.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training for a UCE graduate.

A UCE Leaver has two TVET choices; to enroll for the DIT certificate of competence or to enroll for the National Certificate in a skill of their choice. Those who enroll for DIT go through the same skilling levels as the PLE leavers but start from Level 2 and they may have a better advantage of numeracy and literacy as they take on higher DIT levels.

Those who choose a National Certificate course study for two years, at the end of which they are awarded the National Certificate examined by Uganda Business & Technical examinations board (UBTEB) in the skill of their choice.

This document is equivalent to the UACE document. Course units are not limited to the skill-specific content but rather include other areas of knowledge such as Entrepreneurship, Swahili, Pure & Applied Mathematics, Communication Skills, and Computer applications, which are compulsory irrespective of your Skill.

The National Certificate document can be used to enrol for Diploma studies in any University and subsequently Bachelor’s degree. Students under this category who choose to join University normally have higher chances of admission due to evidence of their skill-specific knowledge.

They are also better placed towards building solid careers due to the fact that they join University with good knowledge of what their profession requires and the opportunities available to them, in addition to the hands-on skills they already have.

With this document, one can join elective politics which only require a minimum of A level, but also can secure jobs in firms and organizations as a professional, unlike the UACE document.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training for a UACE Leaver.

A UACE leaver has three TVET choices; to enroll for the DIT certificate of competence, to enroll for the National Certificate, or to enroll for the National Diploma/Ordinary Diploma in the Skill/Profession of their choice.

A student who passed subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and English is eligible for a Diploma in Professions/Skills such as Civil Engineering/Building Construction, Electrical Engineering/Electrical installation, Water Engineering/Plumbing, Mechanical engineering/Mechanics, etc.

Additionally, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs offer practical training and hands-on experience that prepare students for the demands of the job market. This real-world experience can provide an edge in the competitive job market, as employers often prefer candidates who have practical skills and experience.

Moreover, Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs are constantly evolving to keep up with changing industry needs and advancements in technology. As a result, graduates of these programs are well-equipped to adapt and learn new skills throughout their careers, ensuring that they remain competitive and in-demand in the job market.

Overall, Technical and Vocational Education and Training programs provide a viable alternative for students who want to pursue a practical, skills-based education that prepares them for the workforce.

With a range of programs and certification options available, students can choose the path that best suits their interests and career aspirations. And with the growing demand for skilled workers in various industries, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector is poised for continued growth and success.

This article was first published on Medium

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