World TVET Database - Country Profiles

Uganda

TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
Uganda
published: 2014-01-16

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

Uganda’s TVET mission is defined as being to ensure that individuals and enterprises acquire the skills they need to raise productivity and income.

The main objectives of the mission are as follows:

  • Make TVET relevant to productivity development and economic growth
  • Increase the quality of skills provision
  • Increase equitable access to skills development
  • Improve the efficiency in TVET management and organisation; and
  • Increase internal efficiency and resources available for TVET
TVET strategy

The Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategic Plan 2011-2020 denotes a paradigm shift for skills development in Uganda. The aim is for the TVET system to emerge from an educational sub-sector into a comprehensive system of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. The following figure illustrates the four axes of this shift:

Scheme extracted from Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.

The Strategic Plan 2011-2020 aims to create employable skills and competencies relevant to the labour market. The new TVET system intends to embrace all Ugandans in need of skills, including but not only primary and secondary school leavers. The Plan calls for a broader scope of TVET in terms of target groups and occupations in response to the Ugandan labour market, for adjustments in the way programmes are delivered in order to improve competences of graduates, and for modifications in the organisational and management set-up.

TVET legislation

The Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Act was passed in 2008. It provides for the TVET institutional and legal framework and defines the scope and levels of different TVET programmes and the roles of different providers. The Act distinguishes between the functions of training provision and quality assurance, describes the criteria and access requirements for TVET programmes and establishes institutional and management arrangements for defining qualifications (standards, testing and certification) and for providing training in formal and non-formal institutions.

Act of 2008 paved the way for the establishment of the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) under Part VI, Section 26, Sub section 1 of the BTVET Act, sub section 1; and operationalised by the Statutory Instrument 2009 No. 9.

Act of 2008, section 20 establishes the Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework (UVQF) which is integrated in the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) to perform the following roles:

  • To develop occupational standards, Assessment and Training Packages (ATPs), accrediting assessment centres and assessors
  • To conduct competence based assessments
  • To issue certification to successful candidates.
Sources:

  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.
  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2012). Ministry of Education and Sports, Directorate of Industrial Training. Accessed: 22 July 2013.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Uganda. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.
  • Webpage of the Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board. Accessed: 22 July 2013.


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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Uganda. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Formal TVET system

TVET in Uganda is an overlapping three-tier system comprising:

  • Craftsman level training offered by technical schools and institutes;
  • Technician level training offered by technical colleges; and
  • Graduate Engineer level training offered by universities.
After seven years of primary schooling, students can either proceed to low secondary school or opt for a three-year craftsman training offered in farm and technical schools and vocational training centres. It is a four-year training in the case of community polytechnics.

The Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) completers have four alternative avenues for further education and training, namely:

  • Enrolling in a two-year advanced course at a technical institute
  • Joining a two-year primary teacher training programme in primary teachers’ colleges
  • Joining any of the government departmental training institutes, which offer a variety of technical and professional courses under different ministries
  • Accessing advanced education that leads to the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE)
There are provisions for the graduates from those four alternative outlets to pursue university education. Similarly, the UACE completers have several promotional avenues, namely:

  • Enrolling in a two-year course at the Uganda Technical College;
  • Joining any of the programmes of departmental training;
  • Proceeding to the Uganda College of Commerce;
  • Joining a two-year course in a National Teachers’ College; and
  • Proceeding to university.
Private TVET

Private TVET providers represent a strong segment of the sector, estimated at more than 1,000 institutions in 2011, representing approximately 81% of all TVET providers. The GoU aims to support these providers who may receive access to all support schemes offered to TVET institutions, and may be assisted with public subsidies in particular if they invest in under-served regions and build training supply in priority occupations.

Non-formal and informal TVET Systems

The informal sector remains a stronghold of employment, accounting for 58% of non-agricultural employment in 2011. The TVET system has largely neglected the specific training needs of the informal sector. There is no systematic approach to skills development for people already in or seeking to enter the informal sector. Many of the training offers are supply driven, not based on market assessments and only duplicate formal sector training at very low levels. Some very effective programmes cannot be replicated due to lack of information exchange and resources.

Recognising the importance of informal sector development for economic growth and employment generation, the Government of Uganda (GoU) aims to expand training for the informal sector, to improve relevance and effectiveness and to make it an integral part of a comprehensive TVET system in Uganda. The GoU focuses on building specific targeted approaches to informal sector training based on the needs of local markets. The GoU envisages investments in institutional and human capacity building of non-formal training providers, and plans to establish regional support centres to facilitate decentralised communication, coordination and support networks.

Sources:

  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.
  • Government of Uganda (2010). National Development Plan 2010/2011- 2014/12. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
  • UNESCO-IIEP (2004). Education and the sector-wide approach in Uganda. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Uganda. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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3. Governance and financing

Governance

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES):

The TVET system is under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES). The MoES is responsible for programme implementation and monitoring, including procedures for planning, budgeting and annual reviews. Other ministries and stakeholders are involved and may have responsibility for selected strategies, notably the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF).

The Directorate of BTVET:

It manages the government TVET training providers (more than 110 government training centres, schools, institutes and polytechnics).

The Industrial Training Council (ITC):

The ITC consists of the private sector (both training providers and manufacturers in the formal and informal sectors), the relevant ministries, and representatives of employers and employees. The ITC is committed to advocate and lobby for TVET reforms, ensure their operationalisation while improving the image of vocational training, achieving the required linkages and matching vocational training to the competences needed in the Ugandan Labour Market and bringing the Ugandan skills levels in line with the global skills development trends.

The Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT):

The DIT serves as a secretariat for the Industrial Training Council (ITC). The DIT advises on policy matters related to TVET in particular qualifications. It is mandated to award TVET certificates and diplomas; setting and developing appropriate regulations and guidelines for issuance of TVET qualifications by the MoES. DIT develops and updates the training modules.

The Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions (UGAPRIV):

The UGAPRIV was established to coordinate all registered private providers. Most of the formal skills development institutions that were formerly under other ministries were brought under the skills development sub-sector, although some have since been returned to their departments.

Social Partners:

The government intends to make employers part of the governance structures in the TVET system, both at central level and at the level of TVET institutions. The plan is to include employers, and the business community at large to be equal partners of government in all policy development and planning processes and in the governance of the TVET system, which includes decision on allocation of funds.

Financing

The two major sources of TVET funding are the public budget and private households through training fees. The share of TVET in the MoES budget is relatively low, approximately 4% to 7%. Public unit spending is also low by African standards. A new fund is set up to stimulate new training approaches as well as expanding and improving traditional apprenticeship trainings. Training for the informal sector is largely donor-financed.

Sources:

  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.
  • Government of Uganda (2010). National Development Plan 2010/2011- 2014/12. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Uganda. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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4. TVET teachers and trainers

Vocational teacher training is carried out on a more ad hoc basis with upgrading courses for practising teachers or extra training programmes for workers in the field.

Kyambogo polytechnic used to train teachers for vocational education, but is now being merged with Kyambogo National Teachers College to form Kyambogo University. The government has begun training of trainers’ courses to prepare instructors for the community polytechnics.

TVET teachers and trainers in private institutions are mainly drawn directly from graduates of technical institutes and polytechnics who have rarely had industrial experience or pedagogical training. Although there are some instructor initiatives at Nakawa Vocational Training Institute, more comprehensive instructor training institutes have to be opened to cover all parts of the country.

Note that no programmes are currently available for under/unqualified TVET teachers and trainers and the current capacity for teacher training is not sufficient to cater for the huge demand of in-service training to meet the planned upgrading in the BTVET system. There are, however, some promising initiatives such as; the new teacher training measures started by Nakawa Vocational Training Institute (VTI), The Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions (UGAPRIVI), and the establishment of Instructor Training department at Jinja VTI in November 2013.

Sources:

  • Government of Uganda (2010). National Development Plan 2010/2011- 2014/12. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2013). Teacher Issues in Uganda, A Diagnosis for A Shared Vision on Issues and the Designing of a Feasible, Indigenous and Effective Teachers’ Policy. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.
  • NORAD (2003). BTVET for Employment and Private Sector Development in Uganda. Oslo: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.


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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

This is a three-tier system:

  • craftsman level offered by technical schools and institutions;
  • technician level offered through technical colleges; and
  • graduate engineer level offered through university programmes.
Formal technical schools offer three year full time courses to P.7 leavers leading to the award of Uganda Junior Technical Certificate (UJTC).

Formal technical institutes offer two-year full time courses leading to the award of Uganda Craft Certificate (Part I) and also one year advanced course leading to award of Uganda Advanced Certificate (Part II).

LEVEL EQUIVALENT
UVQF level 4 Diploma Instructor
UVQF level 3 Master Craft/advanced Craft
UVQF level 2 Craft Certificate
UVQF level 1 Uganda Junior Certificate
Workers pass Transcript Award
Transcript Partial qualification
Table extracted from Ministry of Education and Sports (2012). Ministry of Education and Sports, Directorate of Industrial Training.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

The Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework (UVQF) was created to align TVET training and qualifications with the needs of the labour market. The UVQF aims to:

  • Ensure that employers and industry experts are in the driver’s seat when occupational standards and training contents are defined;
  • Safeguard against the institutionalisation of the supply-driven, academia-focussed formal training, which failed to provide graduates with competencies and skills relevant to the needs of the labour market;
  • Ensure that all TVET graduates are equipped with employable skills, all formal and (where possible and appropriate) non-formal training are based on the standards and completers assessed against these standards; and
  • Respond to the urgent request of employers to produce more diploma-level TVET graduates with relevant practical skills.
Quality assurance

Systematic quality assurance in TVET institutions is largely absent. Private training institutions in particular are currently not addressed by public quality assurance systems. Private providers account for the bulk of skills training, but most are not registered with the MoES. The current system of official licensing and registration is burdensome and overly centralised. The regulatory barriers make it difficult and costly for institutions to comply, particularly those away from the capital Kampala.

The government identifies two areas to addresses quality assurance:

  • Introduce an accreditation system for TVET providers - A new accreditation system is to be developed and launched based on the evaluation of models and experience in other countries. This system should encourage private providers to seek formal recognition and should support TVET institutions to improve quality and training standards. The initial objective is to bring a larger part of the private training supply into the quality-assured mainstream TVET, but eventually accreditation should also cover public TVET institutions.
  • Introduce an internal quality management system in TVET institutions - An Internal Quality Management (IQM) system for TVET institutions is gradually to be introduced. IQM is a combination of activities and information that addresses topics such as customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approaches, systems of management, decision-making and relationships with beneficiaries and stakeholders.
Sources:

  • Government of Uganda (2010). National Development Plan 2010/2011- 2014/12. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.
  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2012). Ministry of Education and Sports, Directorate of Industrial Training. Accessed: 22 July 2013.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education VII Ed. 2010/11. Uganda. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.


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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

Recent important changes include: the reform of the TVET system, the BTVETAct of 2008 and the establishment of UVQF.

In 2010, the Government of Uganda (GoU), with support from the World Bank and the Government of Belgium, commissioned a consultant team of national and international experts to conduct a sub-sector study and subsequently form the basis of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 “Skilling Uganda”. The Plan is designed to address the major challenges identified regarding relevance, quality, access and equity, management and financial sustainability of TVET.

Partnerships with influential training institutions in Japan, Israel and Germany in the area of TVET have also been established to enable Uganda to acquire relevant and up-to-date skills for faster development.

Four main interventions are considered critical to prepare the ground for a successful TVET reform which responds to the needs of the Ugandan economy and labour market during the next decades:

  • Building a comprehensive Public-Private Partnership (PPP);
  • Ensuring a strong and focused TVET management controlled by all major stakeholders;
  • Defining the requirements of the world of work as the benchmark for all TVET programmes and qualifications; and
  • Reforming the system of financing TVET in order to achieve long-term sustainability.
Challenges

The lack of resources and technical expertise is defined as key challenge. Another challenge noted is the policy of transforming TVET institutes to university colleges and universities ultimately reduces the infrastructures for vocational studies, and ought to be halted. Accordingly the GoU addresses institutions who are willing to be universities to start as such, and work through the process, so that the youth who fail to make it to universities, or who do not wish to join universities, are not deprived of access to institutions for vocational training.

Sources:

  • Government of Uganda (2007). UGANDA VISION 2040. Accelerating Uganda’s Socioeconomic Transformation. Kampala: Government of Uganda.
  • Ministry of Education and Sports (2011). Skilling Uganda, BTVET Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Kampala: Ministry of Education and Sports.


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7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

28.73
29.71
30.73
31.78
32.86
33.99
Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+3.66 %


For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
14.35 14.38
female male  
14.84 14.88
female male  
15.34 15.39
female male  
15.86 15.92
female male  
16.40 16.47
female male  
16.95 17.04
female male  

49.96 %

49.93 %

49.92 %

49.9 %

49.89 %

49.88 %



Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012


314

336

388

454

481

506

479

547


Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database of World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance

Employment (Million)


total female male
Population

33.99

16.95 17.04
.
Labour Force
31.8%
Labour Force Rate

31.8%

33%

30.1%

Labour Force

10.81

5.59 (51.7%) 5.12 (47.4%)
Unemployment Rate

3.2%

3.9%

2.5%

.
Unemployment
3.2%
Unemployed

0.35

0.22 (63%) 0.13 (37%)


Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market

Participation in TVET (% of upper secondary)


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

21%

21%

21%

21%

21%

Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2009

0 %

19 22
female male  
19 24
female male  
17 24
female male  
23 19
female male  
23 20
female male  
(ratio 46.3 %) (ratio 44.2 %) (ratio 41.5 %) (ratio 54.8 %) (ratio 53.5 %)


Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Data Centre-beta Country Profiles


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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

References

Further reading

Abbreviations

  • ATPs - Assessment and Training Packages
  • BTVET - Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • DIT - Directorate of Industrial Training
  • EMIS - Education Management Information System
  • GoU - Government of Uganda
  • IQM - Internal Quality Management
  • ITC - Industrial Training Council
  • MAAIF - Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries
  • MoES - Ministry of Education and Sports
  • NQF - National Qualifications Framework
  • PPP - Public-Private Partnership
  • TISSA - Teachers Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • TVET - Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • UACE - Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education
  • UBTEB - Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board
  • UCE - Uganda Certificate of Education
  • UGAPRIV - Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions
  • UJTC - Uganda Junior Technical Certificate
  • UVQF - Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework
  • VTI - Vocational Training Institute




Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2014-01-16
Validated by: Joseph Kikomeko;
Principal Qualifications Officer ;
The Directorate of Industrial Training Uganda



page date 2014-12-19

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