We’re no longer dumping ground for weak students, says BTVET

Assistant commissioner in-charge of BTVET Eng Eddy Turyatemba. PHOTO/FILE/HANDOUT

The Ministry of Education and Sports says recent reforms in the Business, Technical, and Vocational Education (BTVET) have made it difficult for academically weak students to join vocational schools on government sponsorship.

Eng Eddy Turyatemba, the assistant commissioner in-charge of vocational education and training at the ministry, said such students now get outcompeted by peers with better grades who grab the slots.

Eng Turyatemba was addressing heads of vocational training schools and colleges during the selection exercise for students on both private and government sponsorship at the Lugogo UMA Show Grounds on Tuesday.

“The competition is now very tight and parents who used to think they will give us failures can no longer secure government sponsorship. Parents should not have the attitude of sending only those who have failed. TVET is a system and it is practical and it gives skills,” he observed.

Eng Turyatemba said people from Western Uganda have particularly embraced vocational and technical education as he advised parents to enroll their children for TVET, which offers practical skills and is aligned to the lower secondary school curriculum.

Harriet Kagezi, the Principal Nakawa Vocational Training Institute, who also coordinates the Central Region Centre for admissions for students who sat S.4 and applied to join vocational schools, said parents should not think that those who have failed should be the ones to join vocational training schools.

According to her, when students join vocational training after S.4, they specialise early and grow early in the profession of their choice and interact with the world of work at an early stage.

“This is preparing a child for the world of work and that’s why we pay school fees so that they have jobs in future. Vocational training helps someone proceed in that field. For instance, if one chooses electrical installation, one will proceed with a diploma in electrical engineering, then a degree and master’s degree,” she noted.