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Gov't to Fund 2,500 Students to Pursue National Certificates in TVET :: Uganda Radionetwork

Gov't to Fund 2,500 Students to Pursue National Certificates in TVET

According to a circular issued by Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, the selection and placement process for TVET will start on February 26.
20 Feb 2024 14:25
Pius Chemonges Achen, a student of Carpentry and Joinery
The Ministry of Education and Sports plans to provide sponsorship for 2,469 students interested in pursuing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the national certificate level this academic year. 

This allocation represents approximately 12 percent of the total 20,670 available slots across 85 institutions nationwide.

According to a circular issued by Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, the selection and placement process for TVET will start on February 26. Lamaro explains that the selection, originally scheduled earlier, was postponed due to delays in the release of the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examination results.

"Following the delayed release of UCE results for 2024, the Ministry of Education and Sports has provided an extended selection exercise to cater for UCE 2023 leavers who would like to join TVET institutions. applicants are thus invited to submit application forms...to any public TVET institution nearest to the applicant,” she stated.

There are a total of 11 trades from which students may choose according to their preferences. These options encompass National Certificates in Wood Technology, Building Construction, Plumbing, Fashion and Design, Automotive Mechanics, Agricultural Production, Electrical Installation and Maintenance Systems, Hotel and Institutional Catering, Leather Tanning and Production, Welding and Fabrication, as well as Machining and Fitting.

According to Lamaro, interested individuals can obtain application forms from any public TVET institution, local government education officers, TVET institutions nationwide, and the Ministry of Education website. The selection process is scheduled for February 26 and 27.

As part of recent reforms, TVET selections have been decentralized to ensure that students can be placed in institutions of their choice that are close to their residence. For students in the Central region, the selection process will occur at Ntinda VTI, St. Kizito Madera in Soroti for the Eastern region, Bobi Community Polytechnic for Northern Uganda, and Kakiika in Mbarara for the Southwestern region.  

On average, the government will be sponsoring a total of 29 students in each institution. However, it's important to note that some institutions, such as Kabasanda Technical Institute and Nakawa VTI, will exclusively admit private students without government sponsorship. In contrast, the majority of the institutes will have over 300 slots available for private sponsorship.

During the release of the Uganda Community Polytechnic Certificate (UCPC) examination results, Janet Kataha Museveni the Education Minister observed that in the selection process for those joining the national certificate, priority should be given to learners who completed Uganda Community Polytechnic Certificates and wish to upgrade. This priority is based on the recognition that these learners have demonstrated early interest in TVET.

“I appeal to Principals of TVET institutions to give these graduates priority in this 2024 admissions for National Certificate in Technical and Vocational Programmes for smooth upward career progression,” said Mrs Museveni.

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education, once burdened by negative stereotypes, is now being increasingly appreciated by parents. This positive shift is evident as more students are opting for TVET programs.

According to data from the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB), which oversees the assessment of these students, the number of students choosing TVET is now comparable to those opting for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (A'Level). The enrollment figures for TVET programs range between 90,000 to 100,000, indicating significant and comparable interest in both TVET and A'Level education.

But, the costliness of TVET education hampers the aspirations of many. In their 2020 manifesto, the NRM government pledged universal TVET education without tuition fees to promote skills, combat unemployment, and empower Ugandans. However, this promise remains unfulfilled, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the scholarships. The limited scholarships provided have also been criticized by parents and sector players, as government assistance consistently falls short, leaving students burdened with hefty fees.

Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, the UBTEB Chairperson, recently emphasized the necessity for the government to take deliberate actions to admit more TVET trainees if there is a genuine commitment to advancing TVET.

“The trainees TVET sponsorship per Institution per intake is too small to realize the skilling agenda in formal TVET training. The call for increment in support to female trainees in Technical Programmes should be the major reason for upward revision of admissions by Government,” said Dr. Eng. Mugisha.

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