KAMPALA – Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports has commended Uganda Business and Technical Examinations – UBTEB for the ever-increasing number of female candidates in Technical and Vocational Education and Training – TVET professions, something she says is a big step forward in achieving gender equity.
Mrs. Museveni was on Wednesday speaking at the 10th anniversary of Uganda Business and Technical Examinations – UBTEB at Hotel Africana and also the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of the Board’s Assessment Conference Centre at Kyambogo Hill.
At the groundbreaking event, the minister was represented by Denis Obua, the State Minister of Sports.
The anniversary was cerebrated under the theme “Competence-Based Assessment for competitive labourforce and economic development”.
“This is very commendable and we hope to see more Ugandan youths enrolling for TVET programmes to acquire hands-on skills. In the documentary clips, I have seen a young girl who is in charge of Marine at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority,” she said.
She added, “I do appeal to young boys and girls to get interested in TVET programmes where the gained skills can enable them start-up income-generating projects or get gainful employment.”
Mrs. Museveni said that in 2011, UBTEB made ambitious and strategic decisions to realign TVET assessment through Competence-Based Assessment, which she says has resulted in a number of milestones at the institutional and national level.
“When you see the infrastructure done by candidates in TVET institutions such as staff quarters, renovation of schools in neighborhood, you appreciate the fact that as a country we are on the right track towards building a critical mass of Technicians and other critical human resources for social-economic development.”
She says that TVET graduates must possess practical skills, applied knowledge and appropriate attitudes that match the demands of the world of work.
“I am pleased to note that the cadre output of UBTEB currently stands at 104,804 graduates as reported by the UBTEB Chairperson. This grew from a total of 9,198 pioneer graduates of UBTEB in 2012.”
Mrs. Museveni says that TVET remains Uganda’s number one gateway towards building a skilled workforce for the success of key sectors of the economy.
She said that Uganda continues to be an attractive location for investment in oil and gas, tourism and hospitality, real estate, ICT among others in the region.
“Therefore, agencies like UBTEB make a direct contribution in Human Capital Development that is essential for industrial growth and national development.”
In his part, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, UBTEB Chairman revealed that over the 10 years, growth in candidates increased from 9,198 (1,663 females and 7,536 males) 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 the 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.
The event was graced by President Yoweri Museveni who challenged Ugandans to embrace technical and vocational education if they are to fight unemployment.
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.”
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.
Mr. Onesmus Oyesigye, the Board Executive Secretary said that the Board during the last 10 years has witnessed a shift in TVET assessment. He said it has had the precious opportunity to stand on the same starting line as an Assessment Board in reforming TVET in Uganda.
He said UBTEB has competent Board members, professional staff and strategic partners that possess the courage and resourcefulness to become leaders in TVET Assessment.
“We have lived the test of time in TVET Assessment anchored on the values of integrity, accountability and transparency, professionalism, innovativeness, teamwork and networking.”
“The Board has attracted competent staff that are passionate about TVET, and drawn from a wider spectrum of TVET exposure. Some were from the TVET providers’ while others from the world of work,” he added.
The ES urged the over 100,000 TVET graduates who are already in the field to work hard and be role model to the rest of the youth who would wish to join TVET.