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UBTEB Registers More Females For May-June Examinations :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UBTEB Registers More Females For May-June Examinations

Statistics from Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board (UBTEB) reveal that this year, the board has registered a total of 32,726 candidates, who will be sitting for their examinations at 294 centers nationwide. Among these candidates, 17,357 are female, comprising an impressive 53 percent of the total candidature.
UBTEB candidates during the practical examination for construction

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More female candidates are set to take the May/June technical and vocational education and training examinations.

The development is a significant shift from the tradition where more numbers of males have registered for the assessments.

Statistics from Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board (UBTEB) reveal that this year, the board has registered a total of 32,726 candidates, who will be sitting for their examinations at 294 centers nationwide. Among these candidates, 17,357 are female, comprising an impressive 53 percent of the total candidature. 

Dr. Wilfred Nahamya, the Deputy Executive Secretary of UBTEB, attributes the gradual increase in female candidates to the growing popularity of technical and vocational education and training (TVET). He emphasizes that this trend reflects the broader trend of TVET attracting a larger number of students overall. 

"The rise in female candidates can be attributed to several factors," Dr. Nahamya explains. He said one of the factors is the recent decentralized admission process, which has encouraged more students to pursue TVET courses. "Additionally, the phasing out of teacher certificate programs may have influenced this shift, as many females previously opted for these courses. Now, with TVET as their primary option, more females are enrolling in technical and vocational education programs," says Dr. Nahamya.

A report from the National Planning Authority highlights a persistent issue: while overall enrollment in TVET has been on the rise, female participation has lagged behind. For example, in 2023, UBTEB assessment results exposed a stark gender disparity, with only 15,000 females completing their programs out of a total of 52,373 trainees. 

This discrepancy is troubling, especially considering the higher unemployment rate among females compared to males. Empowering women with skills through TVET is seen as a crucial strategy for societal transformation. Addressing this gender gap in technical and vocational education is essential not only for promoting gender equality but also for enhancing economic opportunities for women and addressing unemployment challenges.

Dr. Nahamya further observes that despite the increase in female enrollment, there remains a concentration of females in specific areas, particularly those traditionally associated with female-oriented courses such as fashion and design, as well as business-related fields.

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Last year, recognizing the ongoing gender gap in TVET enrollment, the Ministry of Education and Sports launched a scholarship program. This proactive measure is designed to elevate the involvement of girls in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), effectively tackling the issue of low female representation in these programs and fostering gender equality within the field. 

While efforts are being made to address gender disparities in TVET, the representation of persons with disabilities (PWD) in these programs remains notably low, with just 118 registered for the May/June examination by the board. 

Onesmus Oyesigye, Executive Secretary of UBTEB, acknowledged this challenge and underscores UBTEB's commitment to inclusivity. He added that the board is actively focusing on registering more PWD students, having hired additional staff to provide support during assessment cycles and acquiring specialized equipment for their use.

He highlighted a key obstacle: despite more PWD completing secondary education, institutions are not adequately equipped or staffed to accommodate them. This lack of resources poses a significant barrier to the inclusion of PWD in TVET programs. 

"Instructors don't undergo specialized training to accommodate students with disabilities. There is currently a lack of trainers specifically equipped to handle the unique needs of PWD students in TVET. This is an emerging area that requires special attention. The Ministry should provide support in these areas to ensure that these students have equal access to TVET education. For many of them, their abilities lie in technical and vocational fields, and they require formal education and qualifications to thrive,” said Oyesigye.   

The May/June 2024 examinations will commence on May 13 and the UBTEB has taken measures to ensure the integrity and security of the process. This includes the deployment of 450 reconnectors and other monitors to maintain vigilance during the examinations. 

Jalia Nassaza, the Manager of Vocational Education at UBTEB, to accurately assess candidates in their respective fields of study, UBTEB will deploy over 200 practical assessors and verifiers. These experts will conduct on-the-spot assessments to evaluate candidates' skills and competencies.

She added that considering the adverse weather conditions experienced in various parts of the country, the board has taken proactive measures to dispatch the examination materials early. This ensures that they arrive at the designated storage facilities well ahead of time.

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