Vocationalisation of Secondary Education in Uganda
Submitted by: Patience Atim, Communications Officer
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
2017 – present
Windle International Uganda (WIU) implements vocationalisation of secondary education in Kiryandongo (Panyadoli Self-help Secondary School) and Nakivale (Nakivale S.S) since 2017. The project aims at equipping refugees going to school with technical skills for employment. Whilst WIU enables 622,156 refugee children to access quality education, many of them are unable to go beyond secondary education due to extremely high costs of attending higher education.
As a result, these children remain idle and disorderly in the communities and pose a great burden to the state, which already struggles with a high unemployment rate. These situations underline the lack of technical/vocational skills among the refugees, that would help to combat the unemployment and the existing skills gap. Vocationalisation of secondary education is crucial.
The programme offers courses including catering and hotel management, welding and metal fabrication, motor vehicle mechanics, salon and hairdressing, and tailoring.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Vocational trainings (with a focus on catering and hotel management, welding and metal fabrication, motor vehicle mechanics, tailoring, salon and hairdressing) started in Panyadoli Self-help Secondary school in 2017. This meant the construction of training facilities including a kitchen, welding and metal fabrication workshop, and a garage. At least 100 students between S.2-S.5 were enrolled for the initial training in 2017.
The courses are undertaken in two levels and spread out within a period of two years, so that each level covers 12 months. Level one targets students with a Primary Leaving Certificate, and Level two is for students with Uganda Certificate of Education. Some students however move from level one to level two, thereby studying for two years. The vocational training is incorporated into the students timetables to avoid interference with the national secondary school curriculum.
For two years now, the students have been subjected to Global Industry Training Examinations from the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board. 78 students graduated with vocational skills in 2017 and 110 in 2018.
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Inadequate training equipment: more funds are being solicited to provide for the inadequacies as some students interviewed admitted to have never physically seen an oven, and other equipment they only heard about in theory.
- Lack of start-up kits: currently, plans are set up to incorporate start-up kits for the students that complete the training.
- Insufficient time allocated to the training activities: besides vocational training, the students are subjected to the same national examinations taken countrywide. The government of Uganda is currently considering integrating vocational skills training into the national curriculum. This will help to equally distribute time to training and all learning areas.
Results of the Good Practice
Vocationalisation of secondary education has ensured that students leave secondary education equipped with technical and employable skills. At least 30 percent of all the students that have graduated are currently employed within the vocations they trained in.