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Uganda To Digitalize All Educational Vocational Institutes

Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports looks forward to digitalizing all centres of vocational excellence under the Uganda Skills Development Project–USDP as one of the means to ensure online learning during and post the Covid-19 era.

According to the Ministry of Education, the centres of vocational excellence includes Bukalasa agricultural College, Uganda Technical college- Elgon, and Uganda technical college in Bushenyi.

World Bank to Partly Fund the 1.3 Million Dollar ICT Programme

According to Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, the arrangement, part of a World Bank-funded programme will cost 4.7 billion Uganda shillings (about 1.3million dollars) to cover the installation of ICT pieces of equipment and their accessories.

The same arrangement will benefit affiliate technical institutes; Karera Technical institute Bushenyi, Nyamitanga technical institute, and Rwentanga farm institute in Mbarara, Ktgun technical institute, Kalongo technical institute in Agago, Ora Technical institute in Zombo and Butaleja technical institute.

Others are Kasodo Technical institute in Paliisa, Kaliro Technical institute, Ssese farm institute in Kalangala, Lake Katwe training institute in Kasese, and Kaberamaido Technical institute.

After Installation, Colleges Will Conduct Online Teaching With Tutorials And Videos

Hajjat Safina Musene, the commissioner in charge of Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) reveals that after the installment, a good number of institutes will start to conduct basic online teaching which will involve tutorials and short videos demonstrating how things are done.

However, she says it may be difficult for vocational institutes to have complete online training given that a lot of practical (hands-on) training is needed more than theory. She goes on to say that they plan to have blended learning which involves digital and face to face learning, as a medium of long term intervention.

How Will Centres Link Up With Students Lacking Technological Equipment?

Questioned on how the centres will link up with students who lack technological equipment, Hajjat Musene pointed out that the government is aware of the challenge ahead but would rather take it step-by-step.

In 2012, the government through the health ministry launched a BTVET strategic plan 2012/2013 to 2021/2022 entitled “Skilling Uganda” to underscore a paradigm shift in skills development in the country. The plan put emphasis on creating employable skills and competencies relevant to the labor market instead of educational certificates as was before.

However, the major hindrance to this goal is the COVID–19 pandemic which has made it impossible to have face to face lessons in all educational institutions.

Reopening of schools at the moment seems to be highly risky and experts have advised the government to start exploring digital learning platforms. A section of Education experts also highlighted that its high time the government started developing a digital learning policy framework that will guide online learning and teaching.

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