The number of students enrolling for vocational and business courses has almost doubled in less than a year, something the technical officials say is exerting pressure on the existing infrastructure.
Mr John Twesigye, the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) executive secretary, yesterday reported a 41 per cent increase in enrolment for UBTEB exams last year as compared to 2012.
Mr Twesigye said the number is expected to increase to 70,000 in the 2014/15 financial year. The total number of candidates who registered for the November/December 2012 exam was 45,064.
“This implies that every year, people are realising the importance of vocational skills training as a strategy for development,” Mr Twesigye said yesterday at the release of technical exams.
There was a 10 per cent increase in performance in this year’s technical craft and certificate business programme examinations as compared to that in the November/December 2012.
Mr Twesigye explained that candidates who successfully completed their programmes can either be employed or proceed to the next level of their academic career.
“The candidates who have not acquired all competencies are recommended for trade tests and will be awarded certificates of competencies and can proceed to the world of work. They will, however, be allowed to come back and perfect competencies in affected subjects before they graduate,” Mr Twesigye said.
Performance was above average in Technical Craft Certificate Part I programmes.
Males performed better than their female counterparts in Certificate in Tropical Agriculture programme. At least 70.6 per cent of candidates who did diploma in business programme passed, while 44.6 per cent of the candidates didn’t fulfill all the requirements for the National Certificate Business Programme Award.
Cases of malpractice have reduced from 37 in 2012 to seven in 2013 as two students who were involved in impersonation were sentenced to 15 months in jail.
According to Mr Twesigye, the board is considering merging some centres to avoid operational costs during exams.
The board chairperson, Prof Vanensius Baryamureeba, said they are inadequately funded, which affects their operation.
However, Ms Jessica Alupo, the Education minister, assured them that government was considering expanding some of the institutions in order to accommodate the increasing number of students seeking to join technical institutions.