The Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) has commenced a two-week training for assessors and lecturers in competence based assessment.
Competency based assessment is that training and assessment that emphasizes more of the competencies a person has in executing duties than just holding a certificate.
The retooling program which is highly practical has been funded by Uganda Skills Development Project (USDP), a world bank supported project supporting centers of excellence that include technical colleges and other affiliated institutions.
Speaking to our reporter on Tuesday, Dr. Nahamya Karukuza Wilfred, Deputy Executive Secretary Examination Management said following the approval of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy by the Cabinet with the aim of streamlining the quality assurance systems and standards for TVET in Uganda, UBTEB has embarked to orienting and equipping instructors with competencies that meet the ever changing skills’ needs due to technological advancement and trends.
‘’ We are training assessors from BTVET institutions especially the Centers of Excellence with their partner Technical Institutes. The Centres of Excellence include UTC-Bushenyi, UTC-Lira, UTC-Kichwamba, UTC-Elgon ,Kaberamaido , Bukalasa Agricultural College and Uganda petroleum training Institute among others’’, said Dr Nahamya.
He added that they are targeting 1000 but so far they have skilled 321 staff that was recommended to be trained as Assessors in the different areas of specialization from Construction, agriculture, manufacturing, plumbing areas among others at Uganda Industrial research Institute.
‘’Our Trainers who are mainly from institutions are being exposed to that kind of state of the art facility such that when they are training students they know what they are really doing’’, Nahamya added that they also partnered with other construction, engineering and manufacturing areas including Kakira and roofings so that they gain practical skills.
In 2012, the Government of Uganda launched the Skilling Uganda strategy with the main focus on delivering skills and competencies relevant for the labour market.
Subsequently, Cabinet approved the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy with the main aim of streamlining the quality assurance systems and standards for TVET in Uganda.
After the two weeks training, UBTEB shall award and certify trainees as Certified Assessors and also produce Assessment tools, Assessors Trainers Manual.
‘’This will raise the level of quality of skills provision and build capacities between training providers and industry players/world of work’’, added Nakamya.
Recently ,UBTEB signed a MoU with National Water and Sewerage corporation ad it is engaging various stakeholders from the world of work including Agricultural sector, Oil and gas sector, manufacturing and Construction .
The training focus on key areas of ; Manufacturing programmes at UTC-Bushenyi with attached institutions including Nyamitanga, Karera and Lake Katwe Technical Institutes Construction-road construction and general are offered at UTC-Lira and Elgon respectively with attached technical institutes of Kalongo, Kitgum,Ora, Kaliro, Butaleja and Kasodo Technical Institutes.
Agriculture programmes are offered at Bukalasa agricultural college with attached institutions including; Ssese Farm Institute, Rwentanga Farm Institute and Kaberamaido Technical Institute. Oil and gas programmes are offered at Uganda Petroleum Institute-Kigumba and UTC-Kichwamba.
‘’The training sessions are generally practical with a lot of hands-on exposure and interaction with industry players. The competencies are based on the demands of industries and work fields’’, he further noted.
Dr .Nahamya advised the public to stop viewing Vocational colleges as institutions for failures, yet they impart practical skills that equip their graduates with skills which enables them find employment almost immediately, many times even employing themselves.