Vocational institutions want the government to increase funding to facilitate the proper implementation of the newly adopted modular assessment model. They argue that their funding has not increased despite the introduction of the modular assessment, which presents more demands, especially the need to acquire equipment.
In April 2022, the government introduced the modular assessment model where students can be trained and assessed on more specific skills in different programs like tailoring, bakery, and carpentry before they are awarded certificates of competence for the specific module and join the world of work.
The assessment shortens the time within, which students can train and be assessed. Previously, all primary school dropouts who enrolled for vocational training had to study for three years before they could qualify for any competence certificate while senior four graduates were required to study for two years.
In July 2022, the Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board UBTEB had its first cohort of the modular assessment sit their exams. On Wednesday, officials from different TVET training institutions met at the ICT Innovation Hub in Nakawa to discuss the success of the new assessment model.
The principals noted that learners had embraced the model. They, however, raised concern about the limited funding by the government. Charles Dennis Piida, the Principal of Buhimba Technical Institute, says that the government gives the institute Shillings 52 million as a capitation grant for the 50 students, an amount he says is not enough to cater to the needs of the institute and assessment of learners.
Piida says that the equipment used is expensive and this modular assessment requires a lot of hands-on training and assessment compared to the old system of training.
Joseph Katongole, the Principal of St Josephs Kisubi Technical Institute also says that the issue of funding is critical when it comes to any type of vocational training as it involves equipment for practical lessons. Katongole says that the absence of equipment on which learners can learn, practice, and be assessed can affect the quality of graduates that the training institutions produce.
Last month, the Korean government announced support worth Shillings 7 Billion for six TVET institutions. The support included purchasing new equipment, retooling instructors, and training learners both from their institutions and through exchange programs and fairs. The six institutions are Ntinda Vocational Training Institute, Arua Technical Institute Ragem, Kiryandongo Technical Institute, St Benedict Technical Institute in Mubende, Nyakatare Technical Institute in Kanungu, and Iganga Technical Institute.
The Head Instructor of Mubende Community Polytechnic, Rtd Maj Yovansia Kabacenga, says that being a community institute they would require enough funding to handle the primary seven learners who branch off for vocational training. He adds that this category of learners after embracing the modular assessment still requires extra training, which is hands-on hence equipment comes into play.
However, the Executive Secretary for UBTEB Onesmus Oyesigye asked the Institutions to utilize the private sector in their locations by entering understandings with private companies to grant their learners access to their respective factories. Oyesigye says the government has many demands to attend to.
According to the ministry of Education and Sports, the modular assessment model is aimed at enabling skilling with flexibility and producing competent graduates as intended in the Technical and Vocational Education Training -TVET policy 2019.