KAMPALA – Real-life projects give the trainees good knowledge to develop some competencies and also be able to have hands-on skills, said Prof. Umar Kakumba – Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board – UBTEB member.
Prof. Kakumba was on Wednesday leading a team of UBTEB while inspecting Buganda Royal Institute of Business & Technical Education.
He says that real-life projects are key components of training for certificate and diploma levels which equips learners with hands-on skills necessary in the real life.
“So, we have been inspecting projects that students are involved in including those ones that are working on the solar and the electricity. We observed that the students get solar panels and other materials – do the batteries, change over switches, do the wiring and make up a full system that when Umeme power goes off, the automatic power switch gets to the solar.”
“They do it so well and we observed that the electricity that is used on that entire block is solar. They also do mortar building, transformers building, the mechanical automotive and many others,” he added.
According to Prof, the team observed that there’s a lot of confidence amongst the students, with better understanding and planning but also do follow some standards.
He, however, noted that they observed a challenge in the number of students per project which now ranges from 20 to 30.
“If with time they can be scaled down to at least 4 or 5 students so that there is much more hands-on.”
Prof. however notes that this requires much more money for materials, thereby calling on the government to reach a hand.
Mr Wamala Anthony, Institute Principal noted that they try to train students to live with what is required in the community.
“We normally take students out to do projects that are solving problems. We do plumbing works in people’s houses, do some basic construction, electrical installations and many other projects that are related to courses that we teach.”
“Through this, we bring students into the real life of work and in so doing, we have been able to solve a number of problems within the community,” he said.
Mr. Lugwire Richard – Head of Department Technical says that they do real-life projects every semester in order to create solutions in the communities.
“We have a number of courses; national diploma civil, national diploma mechanical, national diploma electrical, national diploma water and national diploma architecture. Generally, with real life projects, we have been successful.”
He, however, decried the cost of materials which he says has gone so high.
Mr. Lugwire noted that it is difficult to reduce the number of students per project since most of them pay for themselves and therefore cannot afford to purchase the hiked materials.
Students are optimistic that the acquired skills will help them in creating jobs and solving real-life problems.
Students on the project of making transformers noted that they realized fewer welding transformers around the school and therefore wanted to make more for their counterparts in the welding section.
Learners on mortar building projects revealed that they have acquired skills to rewind a none functional mortar and make it productive.
However, all students decried hiked prices of materials as the major challenge.