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Parents, Learners Consider Change of Career Path in Education

More learners with support from their parents are increasingly considering changing their line of education from academics to concentrate on vocational. Patrick Byakatonda, the executive director Directorate of Industrial Training -DIT encouraged such parents to embrace the initiative that was designed by the DIT targeting people with no qualification.
Nicolas Zziwa, a senior one student welding at Kalerwe says he will not go back to school

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Some learners with support from their parents are considering changing their line of education from academics to concentrate on vocational.

When schools closed for the second lockdown, some parents together with their children decided to take on skilling programs as they waited for the schools to reopen.

However, when the president announced the dates for the reopening of schools ,it was the higher institutions of learning that include the vocational institutions  that were allowed to reopen first on November 1,2021 and the lower levels that include the primary and secondary were to resume studies in January 2022.

Charles Ssonko, a parent of a senior five student at Kisozi secondary school says that his son was getting skills in electrical applications as they waited for the schools to reopen.

Ssonko, a business man in Kikuubo explains that his son sat his UNEB exams in 2019 and now he would be sitting his final exams to join the higher institution of learning however, due to the pandemic this was not possible.

He says when the president allowed the vocational institutions to reopen first, his son chose to continue pursuing his course in electrical application.

Ssonko says he supported his son’s decision on grounds that he was growing and had wasted a lot of time waiting for the schools to reopen but also in vain.

//cue in;’’Nina mutabani wange…

Cue out…agende nekyokyayagala’’//

Jamila Namugerwa, a mother of two residing at Mulago dealing in cosmetics, says she cannot continue paying fees for her two children whom she says have grown.

Namugerwa has one son and a daughter. Both of her children were studying before the lockdown; however, when schools were closed she decided to post them for skilling programs in workshops.

According to Namugerwa her children are grown and they have also become passionate about the hands on approach.

 

‘’I am a single mother and making these children wait up to next year it will be unfortunate and damaging because they have grown ‘’says Namugerwa.

 

Patrick Byakatonda, the executive director Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) encouraged such parents to embrace the initiative that was designed by the DIT targeting people with no qualification.

He says DIT has simple vocational courses that can be assessed and enable the learners to acquire knowledge for a living.

Byakatonda also observes that parents should not give up on academics in the formal setting as the government has catered for the vocational part with the introduction of the new lower secondary curriculum that emphasizes hands on approach.

Luganda 

//cue in;’’Kyetugamba abazzadde …

Cue out…kukola tailoring’’//

English 

//cue in;’’And flexible …

Cue in…a vocational ‘’//

In 2020, the ministry of education embarked on the competence-based curriculum that will allow students to study only 12 subjects in senior one and two including one practical subject. The compulsory subjects include English Language, Mathematics, History, Geography, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Education, Religious Education and Kiswahili and then the vocational one.

Henry Katende, who owns a welding workshop in Kalerwe, says that his workshop received six students and of these so far parents of four of them have confirmed  they wont take them back to school.

//cue in;’’Ninawo abaana…

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Nicolas Zziwa, a senior one student from Numasa Secondary school in Masaka who was found at Kalerwe receiving skills in welding says he has no plan of continuing with academics.

‘’It has been a long time since we last attended school, my parents thought reopening will be soon but now it’s two years. I cannot go back to school,’’ says Zziwa.

Adrian Ndemere, the chairman of Uganda Association of Private vocational institutions says in vocational education they have no minimum entry requirement for someone to get employable skills.

//cue in;’’what we have…

Cue out… engaged working’’//

Ndemere says that vocational courses should not be underrated because the students can still upgrade through the different modules designed by DIT.

Meanwhile Wilson Tumuhamye, the Principal Lugogo Vocational Training Institute says such students are catered for under the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) .

Tumuhamye explains that parents together with their children can always consult with the DIT to get to understand the packages available for such categories of students.

//cue in; ’There is directorate …

Cue out…given certificates ‘’// 

In 2011, the government launched the Skilling Uganda programme with intention to retool every Ugandan and grow the country’s skilled workforce.

The formal enrollment of BTVET between 2011 and 2020 is from 42000 to 103000 however, the target for the period was 290,000 students.

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