EDUCATION

Education Ministry issues new guidelines for admission in vocational institutions

According to the guidelines issued, learners with no formal education qualifications plus Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) certificate holders (regardless of their scores) are directly eligible to join skills development centers including technical schools, community polytechnics, and vocation training centers.

The Ministry of Education and Sports has issued new guidelines for admission of learners in Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutes.

Previously, selection for TVET institutions had been conducted by the national selection committee alongside S.1 and S.5. For learners from A’ level, the admission was conducted by the joint admission board.

However, this year the ministry made changes and separated selection for TVET and health training institutions from the national placement process, to ensure a demand-driven process for the skills training sub-sector.

Under the new guidelines, admission to TVET institutions has been opened to all Ugandans regardless of the age with or without formal education replacing the old process where admission was restricted to Primary Seven, Senior Four, and Senior Six leavers.

Loy Muhwezi, the Commissioner Technical, Vocational Education and Training -TVET Operations and Management at the education ministry, says that the new charges mean that every person with informal, non-formal, and formal education can now be admitted provided the recognition of prior learning and knowledge has been done and proven by the selection team.

According to the guidelines issued, learners with no formal education qualifications plus Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) certificate holders (regardless of their scores) are directly eligible to join skills development centers including technical schools, community polytechnics, and vocation training centers.

Interested senior four certificate holders or graduates in any other general course in need of skills are also qualified to be admitted in technical institutes, farm/agriculture institutes, and vocational institutes while interested applicants with appropriate subjects at A’ level will be admitted to technical colleges.

Technical colleges teaching science-based courses will be enrolling learners with a national certificate in the related fields, craft II certificates and degree holders of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-STEM courses in need of practical skills, while commercial, social development, and cooperatives colleges will be admitting interested UCE and UACE holders plus relevant certificates from recognized institutions.

Muhwezi notes that under the new arrangement, placement or admission of applicants will be determined by the capacity of the training institution and choices made by the applicant unlike previously when learners have been placed by a computer system to study given courses which at times are not of their choices.

She adds that unlike in previous days when the selection process had been conducted by the national selection committee, admission for both private and government-sponsored students will be conducted together at selected regional centers after which a learner will be placed in an institution within his or her region.

The designated centers are; Ntinda vocation institution for the central region, St Kizito Technical Institute Madera in Soroti for eastern, UTC Lira for northern Uganda, Nyamitanga technical institute in Mbarara for southwestern, UTC Kichwamba in Fort Portal for the western region.

Meanwhile, with new guidelines in place, admission and enrollment of students joining TVET institutions for national diplomas, national certificates, and Uganda community polytechnic certificates will be conducted from December 2 to 10 this year.

Muhwezi notes that application letters can now be obtained from regional selection centers, city/municipal or district headquarters, or any TVET institution across the country. In the new arrangement, those who had applied through JAB may also re-apply.

The commissioner notes that admission of trainees in national certificates and other relevant professional qualifications will take 50 percent of government sponsorship. In a similar arrangement, the other 50 percent will cater to applicants from the UACE level under the joint admissions board for 2021 admissions.

According to the arrangement, first-year students will be starting their classes in January 2022 on a date that will be communicated. However, a candidate will forfeit his or her place for not reporting to the institute within 14 days upon reopening.

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