KAMPALA – The Government has lauded the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board – UBTEB for fast-tracking the implementation of the Technical Vocational Educational and Training – TVET Policy which was approved by the cabinet in January 2019.
Among other things, the Policy recommends a close collaboration between the industry, the trainers and the assessors to make both training and assessment employer-led to enhance the employability and innovativeness of TVET graduates.
“We commend the Board for establishing the TVET Assessment Working Groups whose work will help to streamline the assessment in line with the trends in the world of work. This is more commendable,” said Ms. Loy Muhwezi, the Commissioner TVET- O & M at the opening ceremony of the 5th Phase Assessors’ Training at Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Namanve, Kampala on Tuesday.
She said that the training of assessors in Competence-based education and training and Competence-based assessment was timely which will ensure that the assessors get a practical experience of the latest technology, practices and work methods in the industry.
“I strongly believe that this engagement with the world of work is going to make a substantial impact on the training, delivery and assessment of TVET graduates. As Ministry of Education and Sports, we call upon all experts in the world of work to continue partnering with TVET institutions for the delivery of the most desired competent, dynamic and innovative graduates.”
She is optimistic that participants will obtain highly specialized and hands-on skills that will enable them to uplift the competencies of the learners in the various TVET institutions.
Ms. Muhwezi revealed that the Government has come up with new competence-based curricula to be offered by various Centres of excellence in areas of manufacturing, construction, agriculture and oil and gas which is in line with the ideals of Government commitment under the skilling Uganda programme where Government aims at realizing attainment of skills and competencies that are relevant to the labour market and attaining workplace oriented environment.
She urged all the participants to cascade the acquired competencies and tactics of assessing trainees on CBA principles to other players in both training and assessment.
UBTEB Chairman – Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha noted that the collaboration among the industry, the trainers and the assessment board will yield the required TVET outcomes among the graduates.
He revealed that the Board also approved both policies and resources which have a critical bearing on their (assessors) work in TVET assessment.
“For instance, we tightened the regulations on examination malpractice from the cancellation of the paper code results to cancelation of the entire semester results.”
Dr. Mugisha noted that the quality of TVET graduates is informed by the capacity of the TVET trainers, the quality of the curriculum, the quality of equipment and instructional materials, the regularity of the interaction between TVET trainees and the Industry, and the depth of the assessments.
“Balancing these factors is an uphill task that requires collaboration among mandate holders, resource allocators, implementers and evaluators. Therefore, pro-TVET/ Skilling patterns should re-think about how holistic this strategy could be deployed,” he said.
He challenged them to reflect on the demands of employers who absorb the TVET graduates, noting that “we are thirsty for a creative, innovative, competitive, flexible, enterprising and relevant workforce that spurs growth and development.”
According to UBTEB Executive Secretary Onesmus Oyesigye, a total of 105 participants were invited for training, 21 of whom from the world of work, 48 from government TVET centres and 36 from private TVET providers.
He noted that the training is driven at ensuring that TVET graduates are competent and relevant to the expectations of the world of work.
He says they have registered tremendous milestones from the training of assessors, such as improvements in the assessment and delivery methodology around the training among others.
“As the board, we attach great importance to assessors training with the view of being responsive to the dynamics of the world of work, such as changing in technology, dynamics in workplaces, and the desire for the superior quality of services.”
Mr. Oyesigye says the ever-changing trends in the labor market have required that TVET graduates be dynamic, innovative and competitive in the labor market which has, in turn, called for a shift in TVET training and assessment towards competence-based education and training hence calling for capacity building for TVET practitioners.
“Therefore, we are enhancing the capacity of TVET assessors to ensure effective and efficient competence-based assessment.”
“I hope that our diverse background in both training and practice mixed with both equipment and technology in different industrial sites and reinforced with the right methods of competent assessors will result into relevant fair competent modern assessors,” said Mr. ES.
He re-echoed the outcry of registrars and principals over expensive materials (the cutting list) which, in turn, makes it expensive for training institutions.
He pledged to continue conducting regular training for TVET trainers with the members from the world of work and all other assessors in order to promote appropriate high tech relevant and customized TVET assessments that match the needs of the world of work in Uganda and beyond.