Some Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools will now be managed by local governments to improve quality and efficiency.
According to the State Minister for TVET, Olivier Rwamukwaya, under a draft law that was adopted by Parliament on Tuesday, districts will be given budgets to run all TVET activities as is the case with mainstream education whereby preprimary, primary and secondary education are managed by districts.
Rwamukwaya said that while Workforce Development Authority (WDA) managed TVETs, districts had no power to control them, which affected the entire system.
“WDA will only remain in charge of accreditation of new TVET schools or new options and monitoring them,” the minister said.
However, the management of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRC) will still be under WDA in the same institutions of higher learning fall under the Ministry of Education.
“This will help TVET schools to provide hands-on training as the districts will be following up on a daily basis. There were gaps because WDA was not able to control all the TVET schools and know what was happening,” he said.
The Government targets to have 60 per cent of students graduating from nine-year basic education enrolled into TVET schools by 2017.
The number of TVET schools grew from 63 in 2011 to 392 of which 64 per cent are privately owned according to WDA figures released in March.
The number of students rose from 51,773 in 2010 up to 116,292 in 2016 to officials figures indicate.
District officials have welcomed the initiative but stressed they still need the government to assure them that they will be facilitated in terms of getting enough funding as TVET centres require more funding than the mainstream education.
Afrodis Nambaje, the Mayor of Ngoma District in Eastern Province, confirmed that they had received approval from WDA to take over TVET schools and were optimistic that it would improve their management and help produce graduates that meet the needs of the districts’ labour market.
“We will give them priority unlike before when WDA decided for us, we will put more efforts in agro-processing, electronic maintenance and construction. We will also provide short courses,” he said.