Museveni challenges Ugandans to embrace technical education as UBTEB marks 10th anniversary

Minister Kasule Lumumba cutting the cake at Hotel Africana

Kampala | RedPepper Digital – President Yoweri Museveni has called on students, parents and guardians to embrace technical and vocational education as the better was to fight unemployment in Uganda.

Museveni was on Wednesday officiating at the 10-year anniversary of Uganda Business and Technical Examinations – UBTEB at Hotel Africana under the theme “Competence-Based Assessment for the competitive labour force and economic development”.

Mr. President also witnessed the groundbreaking of construction of the Board’s Assessment Conference Centre at Kyambogo Hill.

Represented by Justine Lumumba Kasule, the Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Museveni said that despite the increased number of people who can read, write and count, Uganda is still grappling with the skills gap.

“The skills gap was the deliberate creation of the colonial education system which we inherited as the country. It was simply designed to produce administrators to support the colonial government. This type of education creates people who only want white-collar jobs with no skills to enable them to produce goods and services for the market either as employers or workers,” said Mr. President.

“This is why we have a big number of unemployed people in our country.”

“The problem of unemployment can be solved by promoting skills-based courses.”

Museveni said that his government has promised to build technical institutions in all constituencies and so far has done it in about 55 districts.

“Government has established centers for excellence in technical colleges of Bushenyi, Masidi, Lira and Mbale etc. This accounts to the increased adult literacy rates in Uganda from 43% in 1986 to 76.5% to date.”

He says that technical colleges will guarantee access to hands-on skills that can enable the youth to start their own jobs.

Mr. Onesmus Oyesigye, the Board Executive Secretary revealed that ten years ago, at the inheritance of TVET Assessment from UNEB, UBTEB’s graduate numbers were 9,000 candidates from 191 examinations centres, but now it has reached 108,400 from 592 centres.

“The Board has grown from glory to glory in conducting competency-based examinations in accordance with the mandate granted by Statutory Instrument No. 09 of 2009. Most of our graduates are self-employed entrepreneurs, Technicians and Artisans.”

He said that the Board has grown from being a local TVET assessment body to an internationally acclaimed assessment body which has grown into a reputable corporate organisation that enjoys partnerships with many top-rated companies and organizations from both Uganda and abroad.

“With the support of Government of Uganda, training institutions, corporate entities and world of work, UBTEB has achieved astonishing growth,” he said.

He added, “UBTEB graduates have been employed across the globe in every kind of industry as they chase their dreams on the international stage. Our graduates’ glittering success in the world of work completed with honesty have won the Board success.”

Mr. ES said that 10 years of UBTEB are like yesterday but the changes in technology and demands of the world of work need them to speed up and keep pace with dynamic trends in the TVET sector as a whole.

Ms. Ketty Lamaro, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports said as a ministry they are proud of the good work UBTEB has done over the years in redefining and shaping TVET Assessment.

“UBTEB has shown us that good reforms and policies can work with a shared vision.”

She said that in this era, aligning skills to current and future job demands.

“On this note, I am grateful to UBTEB for rolling out the Modularized assessment system in line with NDPIII and TVET policy. This is the way to go for enabling all level Ugandans to enroll in our TVET training institutions and acquire skills.”

She said that the ministry established the TVET Policy Implementation Secretariat (TPIS) to fast-track the policy output and reforms.

“My Ministry has rolled out the TVET MIS and this is going to enhance effective and efficient service delivery in terms of timely planning, budgeting, reporting, and monitoring. As we wait for the TVET Act to be passed by Parliament, I wish to call upon all stakeholders to get acquitted and support the efforts in ensuring that we deliver quality TVET qualifications and Awards at all levels. This is our journey of realigning ourselves to the paradigm shift that focuses on hands-on skills and application of knowledge and attitudes to fit in the 21st Century world of work.”

“As a Ministry through TVET-OM Department, we have successfully admitted students into TVET Institutions in accordance with the TVET Policy Reforms. The admission criteria was based on the interest, attitude and possession of prior skill or experience in a specific trade. This admission for the 2021/2022 academic year was a testimony of the growing demand for TVET skills and awards for employment and productivity. The turn up was so impressive.”

Ms. Lamaro said that they are ready as a ministry to absorb every Ugandan that is interested in having a lifetime skill.

“We are in final stages of developing the National TVET Qualifications Framework. This will be a big step forward in harmonizing and describing the various occupational files and progression. This is the best practice in having an effective TVET system that delivers results.  We re-echo our association with the Board right from our gesture to share the land.  The Ministry remains committed to supporting you in all fronts.”

Mr. President has commended the leadership and staff if UBTEB for reaching this important milestone and its contribution to the education sector through skills assessment.

In his part, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, UBTEB Chairman revealed that over the 10 years, growth in candidates increased from 9,198 (1,663 female and 7,536 male) in 2011 to 79,901 in 2021.

He revealed that to date, they have churned out a total of 104,804 (23,556 females and 81,248 males) Artisans and Technicians working across the globe.

“ICT integration in systems management. Since 2017, the Board automated most of the examinations related processes using the Examinations Information Management Systems (EMIS).”

“Accredited a total of 592 training institutions. This increased from 191 training institutions we inherited from UNEB in 2011,” he said.

Dr. Eng. Mugisha said that the Board rolled out modularized assessment for all Uganda Community Polytechnic Certificate programmes and 13 programmes of National Certificate-Technical for the academic year 2021/2022. “We have hope that in the next financial year, more programmes will be modularized.”

Other achievements, the Board Chairman said include;

Staff capacity development. The Board has a team of professionals with appropriate expertise to execute the Board mandate. We have over 94 staff. The Board has also trained a total of 531 Assessors.

Corporate Governance streamlined: The Board has all policy documents approved including the strategic plan aligned to NDPIII. The Board is fully constituted by the Minister of Education and Sports and its committees are fully functional.

World of work linkages: The Board has over 10 MOUs with agencies and industry partners including the World Skills Uganda. This is in line with TVET policy where the role of the employer is critical in our assessment processes to certify the quality of our TVET graduates examined by the Board.

Global and Regional membership: The Board boast of international membership to global assessment bodies such as; International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA), Association for Education Assessment in Africa (AEAA), International Association for Education Assessment (IAEA) and East Africa Association for Education Assessment (EAAEA).

Examination security guaranteed over the years: The Board boasts of the integrity of the staff and examination managers who have ensured that there is no leakage of our examinations over the years.

UBTEB home: The Board has embarked on the construction of the UBTEB Assessment centre. We have just witnessed the groundbreaking for the construction of the UBTEB Assessment Centre this morning at Kyambogo hill. The Assessment Centre will host workshops and laboratories for testing of various examination items.

Standardization of TVET Assessment and Awards in Uganda: All TVET qualifications and awards in Uganda are recognized only if issued by the Board in accordance with the BTVET Act 2008 and Statutory Instrument No.9, 2009.

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